This week the Senate passed a budget bill. While I appreciate the bipartisan effort that brokered this budget deal, and I am relieved that it will help avoid another government shutdown, I could not support the proposal and voted against it.
The spending caps that Congress and President Obama put in place two years ago have worked. I'm not sure why we need to move away from that. To get our fiscal house in order, we should at least abide by the spending caps put in place in August 2011. The spending reductions called for in 2011 were agreed to as part of the deal to provide a $2.1 trillion increase in the nation's debt ceiling.
The budget bill approved this week allows for an additional $63 billion in government spending over the next two years when we have a $17 trillion debt. To offset that higher spending, it raises revenue over ten years but spends that money in the first two years. It raises fees on air travelers and corporate pension premiums and reduces retirement benefits for military retirees to offset unrelated spending. Nearly all of the meager spending cuts come way down the road, in 2022 and 2023.
Congress has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and this budget deal only emphasizes that.Thursday, December 19, 2013
Video can be found here.