Republican and Democrats alike should all agree on one thing--our spending is a cancer, a cancer that is spreading, eating away at the heart of our country. The only way to treat it is with entitlement reform. The federal debt is crippling to our nation's future. We have been forced to sequester our nation's defense, health care research, and scientific grants. We are gutting programs that made our country a world leader, and none of it is working.
We need real change, which is why I voted against the Senate plan to end the government shut down and raise the Federal debt limit. I could not support the "business as usual' legislation that turned a blind eye to our spending problem. Simply kicking the can down the road is not what my constituents have sent me to Washington to do, and it is not what I believe in.
At the depth of the Great Depression "Happy Days Are Here Again" was Franklin D. Roosevelt's campaigned promise of hope and change. Americans were unemployed, Wall Street had crashed, and the economy was in a tailspin. FDR was elected to office facing previously unseen national unemployment and economic hardship. His solution was an unprecedented expansion of federal authority known as the New Deal.
The poster child of the New Deal was the Social Security Act of 1935 (SSA). SSA marked the beginning of a new era of government dependency and initiated a new trend of centralized Federal programs that have grown into an economic cancer that is eating our nation alive today.
Without action, Social Security will not exist, in its current state, for individuals under the age of 45; Medicare will not exist as we know it, for individuals under the age of 52.
The path we're on all began with the simple message of "hope and change.' Now, almost 80 years later and we still are being told that it's time for hope and change, except this time it is a joke because nothing has changed. It's the same Old Deal.
A real change would have been implementing a Balanced Budget Amendment, passing the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011, or reforming FDR's failing policies. Instead Americans get another massive entitlement program: Obamacare.
House Committee on Ways and Means has been conducting a series of bipartisan hearings on entitlement reform. It is my hope that these hearings will finally spur a dialogue on entitlement reform and debt.
Robert Doughton, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee during Franklin Roosevelt's presidency, said it best when he stated, "I don't believe that generations which so far haven't a chance to vote or to get born should be paying off our headaches."
The most radical changes to Social Security and Medicare occur only if we do nothing. We must protect Social Security and Medicare for not only this generation, but for generations to come. It is my hope that the President and Senate will sit down with House of Representatives to negotiate REAL pro-growth solutions and entitlement reforms in the near future. My kids, your kids and our grandchildren are depending on us.