By Representative Tom Price
The New Year is steadily approaching, and with it, the "fiscal cliff." If Congress and President Barack Obama take no action, taxes will rise on all Americans. And the only thing standing between your family and a devastating tax increase is House Republicans.
House Republicans have worked in good faith, agreeing in principle to a plan that reforms the tax code by lowering rates, broadening the base and closing special-interest loopholes. These pro-growth policies would generate more revenue for the federal government and establish conditions for job creation. If they are coupled with serious reductions in spending, we can stop the nation from going over a fiscal cliff that will destroy jobs and wreak havoc on our economy.
While promising to take a "balanced approach" to address the fiscal cliff, President Obama and his Democrat colleagues have yet to offer any meaningful solutions, including spending reductions. It is clear that this administration, which has presided over budgetary deficits exceeding $1 trillion all four years in office, remains remarkably unconcerned with our nation's spending-driven crisis.
Instead, they have insisted on raising tax rates on small businesses, despite knowing this would only generate enough revenue to fund the government for eight days. It is not a real solution at a time when we face very serious challenges.
Their desperately desired tax increase would also destroy at least 700,000 American jobs. With a fragile economy and widespread unemployment, why would anyone -- much less the president of the United States -- so forcefully demand a policy that would exacerbate the economic despair of so many Americans? Such empirical evidence suggests President Obama and his Democrat colleagues are more interested in raising taxes than they are in spurring economic vitality.
The truth is, an approach to our nation's fiscal crisis that chases ever-increasing federal spending with higher taxes is not only unbalanced, but also foolhardy. The problem in Washington isn't that we don't tax enough. It's that we spend too much. It is unlikely we will be able to hold earnest discussions without acknowledging this fact.
House Republicans crafted a plan that cuts government spending, tackles the drivers of our debt, strengthens health care and retirement security, reforms our tax code, empowers America's entrepreneurs and increases access to affordable energy, all while bringing our budget to balance and getting us on a path to pay off the national debt. We still await a comparable plan from the majority party in Washington, the Democrats.
In the meantime, Republicans will continue to stand with hard-working taxpayers, job creators and families by advancing pro-growth tax policies and real spending reductions to avert the more immediate fiscal cliff. We call on our Democrat colleagues to productively participate.