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January 26, 2013

America at a crossroads in 2013


Now, we’ve reached the borrowing limit for our country and have only approved federal spending through March 27. These factors combined with the looming threat of “sequestration” — over $110 billion in immediate, across-the-board cuts — demand that we act now.

Unfortunately, precisely at the moment we need leadership that unites us, President Obama has struck a more confrontational tone. While the Republicans in the House passed responsible legislation to extend our debt ceiling this week, he has refused to negotiate.

The “No Budget, No Pay” bill prevents the economic chaos of a default, and forces Congress to begin to address our spending and debt crisis by passing a budget. This is a common-sense first step in fiscal responsibility that the Senate has been unable to achieve in nearly four years.

In the long-term, we need a reasonable, bipartisan approach to unite our country and move us forward.

Last March, 38 of us (16 Republicans and 22 Democrats) voted for the Cooper-LaTourette budget. This pro-growth, fiscally responsible budget was a modification to the Simpson-Bowles framework. Our plan reduced the deficit by nearly $4 trillion over 10 years.

This budget incorporates comprehensive tax reform that closes and caps outdated loopholes. This allows for lower marginal tax rates across the board while protecting deductions used by middle-class families, such as the mortgage interest deduction. Lower marginal tax rates will drive up consumer consumption and help small businesses grow.

We lost over $300 billion a year in revenues when our economy went into a recession in 2008, and our level of revenues in relation to GDP is the lowest in over 50 years. To recapture that revenue, we must put Americans back to work.

Cooper-LaTourette also includes significant spending reductions — putting everything on the table, including defense. If we think differently and enact comprehensive national security establishment reform, we can be safer for less money. In addition, we get savings from incorporating Obama administration proposals to reform Medicare and changing federal agriculture policy to save money in a way that helps family farms.

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