Ronald Reagan said it best when he said that “government doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.”
The federal government will take in about $3 trillion in revenue this year but it will spend more than $3.5 trillion. In fact, in just the last 5 years, the national debt has spiked, rising from $10.6 trillion the day President Obama took office to more than $17.5 trillion. That’s about $55,000 for every person in the United States. The amount of debt accumulated in just this short period of time is equivalent to the amount of debt incurred from George Washington to the second year of the Presidency of George W. Bush (March 2003).
This is the wrong legacy to leave our children, and that is why I have voted against most of the spending legislation during my service in the Congress.
I’ve been a strong supporter of fiscal restraint and I believe that Congress has a Constitutional duty to set the government’s spending priorities rather than simply impose an across the board cut like was done in 2013 through the sequestration process, which let’s unelected bureaucrats decide our spending priorities. That is why I voted against sequestration, because the cut does not distinguish between critical programs and wasteful spending. We need spending cuts that are more targeted and focus on waste, fraud, abuse and duplicative programs.
President Reagan was right, Washington has a spending problem and we must restrain spending. We need a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA). In 1997 when the BBA fell just one vote short of passage in the U.S. Senate the national debt was about $5.4 trillion. Those who voted NO in 1997 said that Washington as capable of getting its own budget in order and did not need the BBA. How wrong they were! Today our national debt is over $17 trillion. That one vote could have put America on a more stable fiscal pathway.