Rep. Tom Reed today reiterated his concern that fiscal cliff talks are not getting at the root of the fiscal problem facing our nation. "The entire debate over fiscal cliff negotiations has been focused on revenue and taxation," said Reed. "What is getting lost in the debate is the spending side of the ledger."
From the beginning of the fiscal cliff negotiations, the White House has been advocating for higher taxes on the top two percent of earners, claiming that move will steer Americans clear of the fiscal cliff. "The President will have you believe that by increasing taxes on the wealthy and spending that revenue on more stimulus, we can avoid the fiscal cliff," Reed said. "But simply raising revenue is not a solution to our fiscal crisis, far from it."
In August, the House passed the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act to avoid the fiscal cliff at the end of the year. The Senate has since failed to take up the legislation for a vote and the White House continues to spend at an unsustainable rate. In each of the past four years, annual budget deficits have exceeded $1 trillion. Increasing taxes on the wealthy is projected to bring in $80 billion in revenue annually -- leaving a serious gap.
"The math doesn't add up and shows how displaced this debate on revenue really is," continued Reed. "The tax increases the President is asking for will fund the government for only eight days per year. We need to also be talking about the spending side of the ledger and saving Social Security and Medicare. Those programs are on a path to bankruptcy and collapse if we ignore them and solely focus on revenue. We need a commitment from the White House that they will work with us on entitlement reform so that we can protect and preserve these programs."
"Washington has an insatiable appetite for revenue and the White House continues to encourage that but Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. If we do not get this debate focused on the spending side of the ledger, I am gravely concerned that we will not solve the root of the problem."