Report from Washington: The Debt: Cutting to Solutions
Washington, DC, January 27, 2011
It’s early in 2011, but much has happened in Washington, from the nation beginning the healing process after the tragedy in Tuscon to the new Republican Majority in the House of Representatives finding its footing working with the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House.
After the Tuscon shootings, the victims and their families remain in our prayers. All of us are cautiously optimistic as Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) is making great strides to recovery. In Washington, D.C. the House, on January 19th, voted to repeal Obamacare with my support. The House also has cut its own budget by five percent, eliminated taxpayer funding of presidential campaigns and conventions and will continue to begin to make meaningful cuts to help tame our country’s skyrocketing debt.
This is the same debt that threatens our economy. It certainly threatens job creation. President Obama slowly has begun to acknowledge the problem, but to me still hasn’t recommended enough common sense solutions to show he is serious about bringing down the debt.
On January 25th, President Obama gave his State of the Union address. To his credit, the President talked about freezing our nation’s domestic spending at 2010 levels for five years. While I agree that a spending freeze is a good start, freezing spending at its current high level isn’t the answer. Instead he should consider H.Res. 38 that the House passed on January 25th, which would cut non-security spending to 2008 levels.
Many folks across East Alabama feel like I do that our country stands at a crossroads. One road leads to more spending, never-ending debt and economic stagnation. The other road is looking squarely at our debt challenges, and studying closely every Federal agency and program to decide where cuts can be made.
At this time, I just don’t think we can afford to spend anymore money we don’t have on new initiatives until we have our spending problems under control.
The spending spree over the last two years did not result in more good paying jobs for Americans – in fact, the unemployment rate jumped to 10 percent for nearly 20 consecutive months, never improving with the failed stimulus bill. To be fair, I certainly acknowledge spending has been a bipartisan problem through the years.
This debt will be more than just a heavy burden we will place on the backs of our children and grandchildren. We must take care of business now.
In November, the American people’s voices were heard loudly in Washington. It is clear the direction our country was headed was not the path the voters wanted. It’s time for a new direction – a focus on jobs, jobs, jobs and a tireless effort to get our Nation’s finances and economic house back in order.
President Obama said we must “win the future” and I agree – now it’s up to Congress and the President to find common ground.