One more reason I'm proud of Jean Schmidt
A NO-WIN BUDGET PROPOSAL
Washington, DC - During last year's Congressional campaigns, now Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised, "Democrats will demand and deliver a fiscally responsible budget." Last week, the Democrats had their first chance to deliver on that promise. Unfortunately, for America's families, seniors, small business owners and future generations of Americans, the budget resolution we considered last week delivered everything but fiscal responsibility.
Not only does this budget resolution virtually throw fiscal discipline out the window and dramatically raise taxes -- in some cases by more than 100 percent -- it will also increase our spending by the billions. And yet there are no cuts in the budget that seeks to offset this extra spending. What is even more alarming, these tax and spend proposals will end the President's tax relief that has fueled our national economy.
Speaking of our economy, let's first take a look back at where we came from before we discuss where we are today.
Since 2000, our economy has gone through a lot: a recession, the corporate scandals, natural disasters and terrorist attacks. President Bush and a Republican Congress responded by enacting fair, pro-growth tax policies in 2001 and 2003. The results have been magnificent. As a whole, our economy has been growing ever since.
The numbers speak for themselves. Just a few highlights include five uninterrupted years of growth; more than 7.2 million jobs created since August 2003; our national unemployment rate at 4.5 percent, is below the national average of each of the past four decades.
Clearly, the tax relief packages were a boon to American taxpayers. But what has it meant to the federal budget? In 2006, federal tax revenues grew to $2.4 trillion, a 12 percent increase over 2005. Since the tax relief packages were fully implemented in 2003, tax receipts have increased by 35 percent and the deficits have continually declined. Lower taxes have led to increased federal revenues - it may be counterintuitive, but it is true. The point is we are getting closer to eliminating the deficit because we are generating revenues through lower taxes and an expanding economy.
So, as you can see, now is not the time to put the brakes on our thriving economy. Unfortunately, the House passed a federal budget blueprint last week that seems to do just that.
It is hard to cut through the partisan rhetoric, but I hope to shed some light on what this budget increase means to you - to all of us. First, the budget divvies up $2.9 trillion in spending for this year alone. The spending will fund entitlement spending - things like Medicare and Social Security; discretionary spending - programs that we are not legally required to fund; and defense spending.
I have heard many times that we need to curb wasteful discretionary spending. The $24 billion increase in discretionary spending included in this blueprint will not accomplish these goals. In fact, it does just the opposite.
Second, the Democrat's budget assumes that the tax relief enacted in 2001 and 2003 will be allowed to expire in 2010. Moreover, it assumes that the increase in federal revenues will continue even though the tax cuts that spawned them will be eliminated.
Third, the budget includes what are called "reserve funds." Reserve funds essentially set aside funds - funds that we do not yet have - to be spent on specific programs. There is a $20 billion reserve fund for the new farm bill and a $50 billion reserve fund for the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Since the $70 billion needed to fund these programs is not available, committees will need to find those dollars from somewhere else in the budget.
Where will they find the dollars? You guessed it. The American taxpayer.
Finally, the budget recently approved by the House does nothing to slow the growth of entitlement spending programs. So as baby boomers begin to retire - an estimated 77 million - resources of Social Security and Medicare will get scarcer. According to the CBO, the federal budget cannot be balanced in the next five years unless the growth of entitlement spending is adequately addressed.
As your Representative in Congress, I will continue to vote against any economic policies that will put the brakes on our economic growth and prosperity.
(and no, she did NOT vote for that ridiculous surrender/war funding bill, and yes, she's the freshman who told Murtha that "Marines don't cut and run- COWARDS cut and run")