It's the understatement of the century to say that Washington spending is out of control. Both parties over the last 10 years have failed the American people by spending too much. Since 2008, non-defense discretionary spending has increased by more than 80%.
This sort of spending is suffocating our economic recovery. In fact, testimony from the President's debt commission and analysis from his former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors shows that a debt-to-GDP ratio over 90% costs the economy 1 million jobs annually.
This year we'll end up over 93%. Stopping the spending madness in Washington and getting our debt under control is critical to our economic recovery.
Stop the Spending Madness
Congressman Roskam wasn't part of the big-spending House Republicans in the early 2000s, but he's fought against wasteful spending under the current Majority since he was first elected in 2006. Congress may not like to make the hard choices, but Congressman Roskam knows that we can start right now taking some of these steps toward putting the federal government on a path to a balanced budget. Only then can we start paying off our debt and get our country on a track toward sustained economic prosperity.
Slash the fraud that plagues Medicare
Medicare pays out $60 billion of fraudulent and wasteful claims each year, an affront to taxpayers and a disservice to the care our seniors depend on.
Congressman Roskam authored legislation to apply credit card style anti-fraud technology to Medicare payments, a proposal backed by the White House and endorsed by AARP, the National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association and Citizens Against Government Waste.
Rescind unspent stimulus funds
We were promised that a $1 trillion stimulus package would keep unemployment below 8%, but the stimulus has clearly failed. Instead, unemployment lingers near 10% nationally, and over 10% in our area.
It is an embarrassment that the "stimulus" spending could be wasted so callously: $800,000 to study genital washing after sex in Africa?
$90,000 to replace a sidewalk in Oklahoma that leads to a ditch?
$700,000 to study and develop software to tell jokes?
Locally, DuPage County received only $3.4 million for road resurfacing - not investments in new infrastructure - but only repaving. Moreover, this $3.4 million represents less than 1% of what I believe our district will pay in taxes to cover the cost of the stimulus package.
We should spare future generations the debt burden of this "stimulus" spending and rescind all of the billions in unused stimulus.
Cut Congress' budget
At a time when unemployment is at 10%, and we have such pressing federal debt issues, Congress should not be increasing its budget.
Real budget scrutiny
It's long past time to deliver on the President's campaign promise of going through the federal budget line-by-line to cut out wasteful spending.
Congressman Roskam will press for continued weekly votes on spending cuts like those in the YouCut program, an innovative program that involves citizens in the process of forcing votes on spending cuts in the House of Representatives.
End Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
The failed mortgage finance giants are sinkholes of taxpayer money, already sopping up $150 billion in bailouts.
These two behemoths are likely to end up being the most expensive of any component of the financial bailouts, and yet the financial regulatory "reform" package passed earlier this year was virtually silent on them.
Instead, the executives of these two entities go on making millions of dollars a year even as billions from the taxpayer are required to keep them afloat.