Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) voted against the Senate-passed year-end fiscal plan because Republicans are consistently asked to concede on tax increases, but Democrat leadership has not given an inch on spending reductions.
"Simply put, the Senate version of the bill raises taxes, increases spending and only promises potential spending cuts in the future," said Rep. McKinley. "It failed to address our long-term debt problem and is anything but the balanced approach promised by President Obama. America is now more than $16 trillion in debt. And Congress has failed in the past to cut spending that it promised the public."
According to the official estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate deal includes more than $330 billion in new spending over the next decade. Additionally, the bill calls for $620 billion in increased tax revenues with only $15 billion in spending reductions. That equates to a ratio of $1 in spending cuts to $41 in increased tax revenue, even though the President promised $2.50 in spending cuts for every $1 in new revenue during his campaign. The highly touted Simpson-Bowles Commission recommended a 3:1 ratio.
Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) also opposed the plan on these grounds, saying, "We want a plan that materially reduces the deficit. This proposal does not meet that standard and does not put in place a real process to reduce the debt down the road."
In a recent statement Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke called the current levels of spending "unsustainable," and cautioned that "fiscal policy must be placed on a sustainable path that eventually results in a stable or declining ratio of federal debt to GDP."
"Americans once again are being promised spending cuts in the future. We've seen this movie before -- the spending cuts never happen," said McKinley.
This has played out twice is recent memory with similar results:
*In 1982, President Reagan was promised $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes but the spending cuts never happened.
*In 1990, President George H.W. Bush agreed to $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases but none of the cuts occurred.
"The frustration of this process takes its toll," said McKinley. "As my record reflects, I have already voted for tax relief for all Americans and $5.5 trillion in spending cuts -- both of which died in the Senate. Now, the Senate sent us a bill that contains tax increases, no significant spending cuts, increases the federal debt and the Senate refused to consider any House changes. Therefore I had no other recourse but to oppose the Senate plan."
"Congress needs to address the real problem facing our country - excessive government spending that is being passed on to our children and grandchildren to pay for," added Rep. McKinley.