Since you and I began working together in Congress, we looked to find ways to cut spending and address our federal budget challenges directly. This week marked a post-election return to those efforts through proposals to address the so called "fiscal cliff," the combination of forthcoming tax increases and deep cuts to our military and other spending programs.
We all agree that our tax code must change, but there are very different visions between the House of Representatives and the President on how to restructure it. The President has called for tax rate increases for small businesses earning over $250,000 a year. It is clear that this will hurt the prospects for those small businesses to hire new employees and expand. In contrast, the House has proposed raising tax revenues but not raising tax rates. We would grow revenues through comprehensive tax reform that will reward innovation and hard work and expand our economy. The FairTax is one of the ideas that would do that very thing, and I'm working hard to make it part of our tax reform conversation.
Even more important than tax receipts, however, is the current path of federal spending. Any serious and credible budget plan must change that spending path, particularly the path of entitlements and mandatory spending. As a member of the House Budget Committee, I joined Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in crafting a budget that would achieve that goal. As we head towards the fiscal cliff set for January 1, 2013, please know that I will do everything that I can to implement our reform ideas and ensure that our economy continues to grow. The President and the Senate to this day -- even after four years -- have yet to put a spending reform proposal on the table. The House can't negotiate with itself, and I am doing everything that I can to encourage the President and the Senate to put their plans for spending reform on the table.