Yesterday marked the first meeting of the Budget Conference Committee.  This bicameral, bipartisan panel is tasked with reaching an agreement between the House and Senate that tackles our nation's fiscal challenges.  Deliberation, debate and negotiation is how the legislative process is meant to work.

The fiscal problems facing the country are great.  The problem is not that we tax too little; it's that we spend too much.  Deficits are continuing to grow and the resulting debt will grow faster than GDP.  The Congressional Budget Office says this path is ultimately unsustainable.

I disagree with those who believe raising taxes is the solution to reducing deficits and paying down America's debt.  I don't believe we need to grow government in order to create jobs, to grow the economy or increase the prosperity of Americans.  A more prosperous America does not result from an ever larger, more intrusive government.  Spending less and taxing less will do more good for the economy.

Transparency, accountability, and fiscal integrity should be our key goals as negotiations begin.  On the budget conference committee, I intend to drive a hard bargain on behalf of the taxpaying public.  My message is simple and straightforward:  Washington cannot tax, spend and borrow its way to prosperity.

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