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Public Statements

Balancing the Budget with Shared Responsibility


Location: Washington, DC

By Representative Rick Crawford

This week I will introduce The Shared Responsibility in Preserving America's Future Act, which would require passage of a balanced budget amendment by the Congress in exchange for a 5 percent surtax on individual income exceeding $1 million annually. While my proposal may turn some heads, I hope it can be the beginning of Republicans and Democrats working together to fundamentally change Washington and start reducing our national debt.

Trillion dollar deficits are not sustainable. Extreme partisan politics have kept Republicans and Democrats from addressing this problem. If we are going to take financial calamity off the table both parties will need to come together. Republicans have long championed a balanced budget amendment to force the federal government to live within its means. Democrats have pushed for new sources of revenue to address our debt. My proposal is a reasonable approach that can be the beginning of a new era in Washington where Congress puts the needs of the country first and stops burdening future generations of Americans with immense debt.

My bill contains two important measures. First, it requires the passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. I have longed advocated for a balanced budget amendment that will force this Congress and all future Congresses to stop spending money that we do not have. After the balanced budget amendments passes, a 5 percent surtax would go into effect for individual income over $ 1 million a year. The 5 percent surtax would only be on income over $1 million. Taxes would not increase at all on anyone making $1 million or less under my proposal. Additionally, small businesses that file their taxes as individuals would be protected under my plan.

Most all major accomplishments in Washington happen when both parties work together, and this often means each side accepts something they don't necessarily like. I hope Republicans consider passing a balanced budget amendment important enough to allow asking millionaires to pay a little more on their income over $1 million, and I hope Democrats will recognize this good-faith effort and stop blocking a balanced budget amendment that will fundamentally alter the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars.

The Shared Responsibility in Preserving America's Future Act, will undoubtedly get people talking. However, I would not even consider asking millionaires to pay more taxes unless it was tied to a balanced budget amendment. It is unconscionable for Congress to keep pushing our debt onto the next generation. The Shared Responsibility in Preserving America's Future Act, can be the first step to restoring financial sanity in Washington.

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