A fiscally irresponsible budget

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Just days ago the House Democrats pushed through their budget resolution for fiscal year 2010,  a $3.6 trillion budget resolution which spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.  This fiscally irresponsible budget, which I voted against, will significantly increase the tax burden on American families and small businesses to pay for new wasteful government spending while heaping trillions of dollars of debt on future generations.  Facing a slowing economy and an increased cost of living, Americans have to tighten their belts and carefully budget their hard-earned money.  It’s time the Federal government did the same.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote: "To preserve the independence of the people, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.”  Unfortunately, it increasingly appears that Congress has chosen this ill-fated path.

Congress has a spending addiction – one that’s been around for decades and afflicts both parties – but instead of reining in spending the vote on the Democrats’ Budget Resolution takes this irresponsibility to a new level.  The budget deficit has gone in a few short years from a magnitude of billions of dollars to a magnitude of trillions of dollars.  In fiscal year 2010 alone, the Democrats’ budget will produce a deficit of $1.2 trillion.  To put that in perspective, if you were to stack up one thousand dollar bills, 4 inches high, that would constitute one million dollars.  You would need a stack of one thousand dollar bills about 75 miles high to get to 1.2 trillion dollars.

In addition to the runaway deficit, the Democrats’ budget proposal includes more than $1 trillion in tax increases -- the largest tax increase in American history.  In addition to raising income taxes and bringing back the estate tax which will hurt our small businesses, their budget resolution includes a new national energy tax that will cost up to $3,128 per household. 

This is in stark contrast to the alternative budget offered by the Members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC).  I always vote for the tightest budget and this year the RSC budget was the tightest budget offered and the only proposal which balances the federal budget.  This proposal would balance the budget within ten years, provide $1.2 trillion in tax relief, end bailouts, and make an annual 1% reduction in non-defense discretionary spending. 

Congress had a clear choice. We could have passed legislation which focused on creating jobs and growing our economy while also controlling spending, paving the way for a return to surpluses and ultimately paying down the national debt.  Instead Congress passed, without my support, a fiscally irresponsible budget, which takes money out of the hands of hard working Americans and sends it to Washington to be squandered on out of control government spending, leading us further down the road of chronic deficits.  Even in these challenging times it is important for government to be fiscally responsible and work in a bipartisan fashion to rein in government spending.  I will continue to work to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington.