By Rep. David Joyce
Depending on what you're doing, 100 days can either seem like a lifetime or go by in the blink of an eye.
I'd have to say, my first 100 days in Washington certainly falls into the latter category. I wanted to take some time to share with you what I've been working on in Washington for the people at home in Northeast Ohio.
As the son of a World War II veteran, my dad always talked about how, if our country didn't get its financial house in order, the debt would be passed on to our children and grandchildren.
Well, no longer can we talk about our debt in terms of how it will affect the next generation, because it's impacting us today -- right now. Let me throw a couple of facts at you. We have borrowed as much as $3.8 billion a day and spent close to $200 billion last year just to pay the interest on our debt.
I grew up in Geauga County thinking a million dollars is a lot of money, and I still do, so it's hard to wrap my head around people in Washington talking about billions and trillions like they are nickels and dimes.
The last fact I'll give you is one you might have heard before -- that we have borrowed as much as 40 cents for every dollar that we spend. That means we are borrowing from places like China. We need to re-establish American economic independence. If we owe less to others, we own more of our own future. And when the American people are free to succeed, there's no limit to what we can accomplish. That's the main reason why I was proud to support balancing our budget. It's time for Washington to live by the same rules as every American family. It's so simple: Don't spend what you don't have. It's what my wife, Kelly, and I do with our own budget.
And when we do spend money, it needs to be in a more efficient and effective way. For example, last year the federal government spent $3.5 trillion. It's just common sense that we should use your hard-earned tax dollars on American-made products whenever possible. Let's jump start the U.S. economy by using American-made steel and iron, instead of spending on products from places like China or India. Let's rebuild our country before others. Let's invest in the American people first.
Now, in order to move these ideas of controlling our spending and investing in America, I've made an effort to get to know both Republicans and Democrats in Washington.
I believe it's not only important to changing the culture of Washington, but it's my hope that by getting to know these people, I can convince them to support important priorities for Northeast Ohioans -- like protecting our Great Lakes, which contains one-fifth of the world's fresh water supply. That's also why I joined the United Solutions Caucus, a group of bipartisan freshmen members who have pledged to work together on the most serious problems facing our nation.
I joined because Ohioans deserve a functional government, and I know most people are sick and tired of partisan bickering.
We shouldn't have to fight about everything in Washington. What I've heard time and time again from people across the district is that they just want us to get things done.
Political party membership should not determine if an issue passes or fails. Rather, the issue should be judged on whether or not it is good for the country. That's why I was proud to reach across the aisle to support the Violence Against Women Act. Violence is violence, and, as a former prosecutor, I know how important this law was.
While we've made some headway, there's still a long road ahead of us. My dad had a saying, "my word is my only real bond." I took that saying to heart. So, I pledge to you that I'll try my best each and every day I'm in office to work hard and say what I mean, and mean what I say. So, please, contact my office any time.
One of the most important parts of my job is making sure I'm hearing from you and I know that the solutions to our nation's problems won't be found in Washington.
They'll be found among Ohio small business owners, parents, teachers and families. Let me know what you'd like to see happen over the next 100 days and I'll promise to keep working hard every single day on your behalf.