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Two weeks ago President Obama delivered his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. In his speech the President called for fiscal discipline and specifically addressed the need to reduce wasteful spending from the federal budget. However, earlier this week the President sent a $3.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress, which spends too much, taxes too much and borrows way too much.
This fiscally irresponsible proposal 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. The federal government must do the same.
Under the President’s budget, the federal government will run up a record budget deficit of $1.6 trillion in fiscal year 2011. This is the largest deficit as a share of the economy since World War II. The national debt would double over five years and triple by FY2019 from FY2008 levels. Paying the interest on this debt would set American taxpayers back roughly $6 trillion over the next decade. In fact, Senator Kent Conrad, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, described the federal budget as “unsustainable.”
Additionally, the President’s budget includes more than $2 trillion in tax hikes, with a nearly 20 percent jump in the first year alone. This includes tax increases on small businesses, investors, and families. The last thing American families and small businesses need right now are new taxes that make it harder to save, invest, and hire.
Finally, during the President’s State of the Union Address he proposed a spending freeze. Unfortunately, the truth is that the President’s proposed freeze only covers 1/8th of the federal budget and will not start until next year.
In these challenging economic times it is even more important for government to control spending. The federal government must work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to it. Regrettably, the President’s budget will lead to record spending, record deficits and record debt. In stark contrast to these reckless fiscal policies, I have consistently voted for the tightest budgets possible each year.
Families and small businesses all across our nation understand what it means to make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford, and Congress cannot be allowed to ignore these tough decisions when creating spending policies for the federal government. I continue to urge the leadership of the House to work in good faith to pass a responsible budget that reins in government spending and puts our nation’s families first.
To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.