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American Dream Resides In Homes, Not D.C.


Location: Washington, DC

America was founded on the principle that independent citizens have the right to prosperity and financial security through hard work and innovation under a government that provides for the common security and which safeguards our freedoms.

It is called the American dream.

But there's a movement afoot to strangle the dream through the actions of officials who believe Washington's role is to reward existence instead of innovation; who believe in a dependent, as opposed to an independent, citizenry; and who would punish hard work by taxing prosperity.

Their actions may be understandable and their intentions noble in the wake of greedy Wall Street scoundrels and unscrupulous mortgage brokers who had a hand in disrupting our economy. Certainly, Wall Street needs to be reminded that the dream depends on the prosperity of Main Street and government needs to hold Wall Street accountable when it violates the country's trust.

Go too far, however, and the dream disappears. Put Washington in control of all aspects of the lives of independent citizens and they become dependent. Excessively tax hard work and independent citizens lose their motivation to excel. Treat the talented and driven and the unskilled and unmotivated alike and the talented and driven have no reason to innovate.

The budget pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and passed by Congress goes too far. It hurts families, homeowners and small businesses and mires generations of Americans in the deepest debt ever recorded by the United States.

Pelosi and Reid make it more expensive for Americans to purchase or afford a new home—an essential part of the American dream—by limiting the mortgage interest tax deduction. Their cap-and-trade energy proposal will increase the energy costs for every American household by up to $3,128 annually.

Their budget will raise income taxes, harming the many small businesses that pay taxes at the top two individual rates. Without small businesses, there is no American dream.

Small businesses, those with 500 or fewer employees, represent 99.9 percent of the 27.2 million businesses in America, employ about half of all private-sector employees and, in 2005, created 979,102—or 78.9 percent—of new jobs.

Under the Pelosi/Reid budget, Washington spending will top $4 billion in 2009, or 28.5 percent of GDP —the highest level since World War II. This is simply too much. It's so massive that independent estimates suggest roughly 250,000 new federal bureaucrats may be needed to spend it all.

The budget will produce $9.3 trillion in total deficits over the next 10 years. While it's true President Barack Obama inherited a deficit—due in large part to the aftermath of 9/11—the Pelosi/Reid budget leaves permanent deficits averaging $600 billion even after the economy recovers. It doubles the publicly held national debt to more than $15 trillion. This is now their deficit and debt—the highest U.S. debt in the 233-year history of our country.

Unchecked spending results in borrowing hundreds of billions from China, the Middle East and other nations that own our growing debt. Communist China is already trying to dictate to the United States how to run our economy. Communist China is not part of the American dream.

It's easy to spend. But families know what Washington sometimes forgets: Sometimes you have to scale back and make sacrifices until your economics rebound.

The budget I voted for would have borrowed $3.6 trillion less from China and Middle Eastern countries than the Pelosi/Reid budget. It would have created $23,000 less debt per household, taking the tax burden off current and future generations. It would have avoided all tax increases and even would have simplified the tax code. It would have done this by:

Freezing nondefense, nonveterans discretionary spending at its current level for five years.
Reforming entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid without cutting payments.
Taking back stimulus spending that would be spent in 2010 and beyond, when the recession is expected to be over.

It also would not increase taxes on Americans during a recession.

The American dream does not and cannot reside in Washington. It can and must reside in the homes and businesses of individual, innovative Americans. Government's role is to provide the framework for Americans to achieve the dream as they define it, not to define it for them.

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