View From the Capitol - Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's Newsletter for the Week of December 3-7, 2012
As our country crept another week closer to the fiscal cliff that presents hardworking Americans and small businesses with additional tax burdens, I learned that I would have the opportunity to play a greater role in the budget process when I was asked to serve on the House Budget Committee, beginning in January. This is the committee primarily responsible for developing the annual budget resolution that sets the aggregate levels of spending, revenue, the deficit or surplus, and public debt expected to occur in any fiscal year.
As someone who is committed to reining in our runaway federal spending, I will be honored to serve on the House Budget Committee and I thank Chairman Paul Ryan for the opportunity. I will bring to the table the common sense ideas that I have discussed in conversations with the good citizens of Missouri's Fourth Congressional District. They realize we cannot continue on our country’s current path of uncontrolled spending. They know it is disgraceful to leave our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt that can never be paid. I look forward to working with Chairman Ryan and the Committee to change the trajectory and get our country headed back in the right direction.
And, as we near the fiscal cliff that threatens to both increase taxes by an average $3,500 a year on working families and hollow out our military through the sequestration process I have addressed with you in recent weeks, we are still awaiting a serious proposal from President Obama on how to avert this fiscal disaster. He has put forward what the White House is calling an “offer” based on his budget proposal that even Democrats refused to vote for. The simple truth is that his beginning “offer” is a non-starter in that he wants unlimited power to raise the debt ceiling, a $1.6 trillion tax hike on top of the $1 trillion ObamaCare tax increase already in place, and even more stimulus spending. The fact is tax increases cannot solve America’s spending problem. If we want more jobs and a more prosperous future we must cut spending.
The President must get serious about taking on our debt problem. America does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending problem. This spending problem is driven by wasteful government agencies and liberals’ refusal to reform Medicare and the more than 80 different welfare programs. It is time to get serious about reforming these vital programs to preserve and protect them while saving costs at the same time.
The Census Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget report that since 1975, federal spending has grown nearly ten times faster than the median household income – it is not sustainable. America is near the debt ceiling again and the spending cuts promised last time have still not happened. As the clock ticks dangerously close to the new year and higher tax rates that will hurt American families, I urge President Obama and Senate Democrats to think of our children. It is unfair and immoral to kick the can down the road and force them to deal with our runaway spending. It is time to fix our spending problem and start balancing the budget.
In closing, I ask that we all pause for a moment to remember it was 71 years ago this week that Japanese warplanes shattered the morning silence with their infamous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that thrust America into World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt fittingly called December 7, 1941 “a date which will live in infamy.” We honor those who perished in the attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet and the men and women who answered the call to fight for our freedoms and liberties. At the same time we express our pride and admiration for members of the United States Armed Forces who have continued and are continuing to respond to threats facing our country. Today’s enemies are different in that they lack the uniforms of previous adversaries, but threats remain, and the legacy of service and sacrifice exhibited 71 years ago lives on. We thank America’s finest for selflessly guarding the nation we love.
Have a good week.