Every day, Central Washington families make decisions about what food to serve, where to drive, and what entertainment to take part in -- guided in part by their family budget. This is why most American families don't dine out in fancy restaurants on lobster or filet mignon every night of the week.
For too many years, the federal government has not been living by these simple rules. The federal government has spent over a trillion dollars more than it has taken in for each of the last five years since President Obama took office, racking up a total of $6.1 trillion in new debt. This is more than all 42 other American presidents combined.
America's debt is rapidly approaching a staggering $17 trillion and rises by $4 billion dollars every day. To put that in perspective, that breaks down to over $53,000 for every citizen, more than many Americans earn in a year.
If a family or business had acted this irresponsibly, they would have gone bankrupt years ago. As it stands, this crushing debt is hurting America's economy, and it gets worse every day. Senate Democrats and President Obama must agree to come to the table and work with the House of Representatives to make the difficult decisions necessary to rein in government spending and start living within its means.
Otherwise, it will not only have a severe impact on those of us working today, but also on our children and grandchildren. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated tax rates that our children would have to pay to finance the government's current spending promises. The bottom tax bracket, which is now 10 percent, would have to rise to 25 percent, the middle rate to 63 percent and the top rate, which many small businesses pay, to 88 percent. CBO warns that "the high amount of [projected] debt would have significant negative consequences on the economy."
Since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010, we have pushed to reduce government spending to responsible levels without raising taxes. While Republicans only control one half of one third of the federal government, we have had some successes -- passing a law in 2011 that reins in federal spending by $2.1 trillion.
However, this is not enough. This past March, I supported a budget proposal that balances the budget within 10 years. This plan makes real reforms to entitlement spending -- which grows every year without Congressional action and makes up more than half of federal spending. This blueprint would make necessary reforms to reduce the United States' deficit and provide significant growth to our economy.
Wasteful government spending is a serious threat to America's prosperous future. I remain committed to finding meaningful solutions to the fiscal challenges that face our nation. The people of Central Washington know firsthand the importance of balancing their budgets and spending within their means. I will continue to fight on their behalf for fiscal restraint in Washington, D.C.