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Issue Position: Fiscal Responsibility

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Congressman DeFazio has long been a vocal advocate for balancing the federal budget deficit, and has consistently spoken out against the severe erosion of fiscal responsibility in Washington, DC. He voted against the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, against the $789 billion stimulus bill, against the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and against the war in Iraq. These four items, along with lost tax revenue from the recession, make up nearly all of the current federal deficit. Congressman DeFazio was also one of only a handful of Democrats to vote in favor of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1995.

The current debt load is clearly not sustainable. Of our $13 trillion in debt, $8 trillion was accumulated in the past 10 years. That is an average of almost $1 trillion per year. It unfairly burdens our children, grandchildren and their children with a debt they did not accumulate. And, it puts our country more and more in hock to foreign investors, which poses a threat not just to our financial stability, but also to our national security.

Congressman DeFazio is committed ending Congress' habit of spending money that they do not have. He voted in favor of a long overdue PAYGO Act. PAYGO requires that any legislative changes that would increase the deficit - whether spending increases or tax cuts - must be offset by equal spending cuts or revenue increases. We know this law works. During the 1990s, the law played an important role in bringing the federal budget deficit under control. By 2000, the federal budget was actually in surplus and not a single dollar of surplus Social Security money was borrowed for other purposes. DeFazio also consistently votes against congressional pay raises, and for more than a decade has linked his pay to cost of living adjustments for Social Security recipients.

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