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Today, the American people are facing one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history. Our economy remains sluggish, people fear losing their jobs and their homes, and many are worried about the future their children and grandchildren will inherit. They are deeply concerned about the outlook for our nation and wonder if their children will grow up in the same America they did. People are looking for solutions to the problems we face.
The Majority in Congress has responded to the outcry of concern by the American people by raising taxes, increasing federal spending at an unsustainable pace, allowing our national debt to spiral out of control, and passing legislation that gives the federal government more control of our daily lives. They have spent trillions on bailouts and stimulus packages to help grow our economy, but all it has done is increase our debt and the size of the federal bureaucracy while leaving our nation’s unemployment rate hovering around ten percent.
The American people have lost trust and confidence in many of their elected representatives. They are fed up with Congress’ irresponsible spending spree, the culture of waste in Washington and government bailouts that force hard-working taxpayers to subsidize the reckless behavior of others. Today, Washington spends $7 million every minute of every hour of every day and to finance this spending addiction the government must borrow 42 cents of every dollar spent. This has resulted in our national deficit exceeding $13 trillion which is $42,000 for every man, woman and child in America.
It is time Congress takes control of spending instead of letting it control the Congress. Immediate action must be taken to cut federal spending. Specifically, Congress should cancel the unspent “stimulus” funds which would save up to $266 billion. Additionally, Congress should cap discretionary spending. Since 2008, non-defense discretionary spending has increased by 24% and if you include the so-called stimulus money, spending has increased by 84%. Reducing spending from current levels and imposing a cap on future growth would generate savings for the taxpayer in excess of $340 billion.
Furthermore, I have introduced bipartisan legislation which forces Congress to enact fiscally responsible spending measures and reduce the deficit by requiring that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts. By requiring the federal government to balance the budget it ensures that Congress and the President are held accountable to the American taxpayers.
I understand the serious problems our nation faces. Ten percent unemployment is unacceptable. A national debt spiraling out of control is unacceptable. Runaway spending is unacceptable. The American people are demanding accountability and results. I will continue working hard to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington by tightening the budget, eliminating wasteful spending, and enacting real, cost-effective solutions to turn our economy around.
To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.