Issue Position: Spending

Issue Position

Congress must find ways to reduce spending on wasteful projects and to reform entitlement programs. Record deficits threaten our economic prosperity and the financial security of future generations.

# The federal government's budget deficit is projected to exceed $163 billion in 2008. The federal debt is over $9.2 trillion.

# A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is the only guaranteed way to reduce government spending. I am a cosponsor of H.J. Res 1, which would add a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

# Congress has an obligation to pay down the national debt so future generations are not burdened by the spending excesses of today.

# The budget deficit requires every agency and program to identify and cut waste, fraud, and abuse, and to limit spending to the bare necessities.

# Entitlements such as Medicare, Social Security, and farm subsidies are known as "mandatory spending" programs. The federal government spends sixty percent of its budget on mandatory spending, which is growing at an unsustainable 6% a year. Congress must reform entitlement programs to help balance the budget and control long term spending.

# Interest payments on the debt are beginning to consume large portions of the federal budget, making it increasingly more difficult to balance the budget and to provide taxpayers with the government services they expect.

# Congressional offices receive federal funding for staff salaries and official business. I responsibly use these resources; nearly 400 Congressional offices spend more money than my office each year.

# On average, my office returns 16.88 percent of its allotment to the federal treasury each year, where it can be used to reduce the federal debt.

# Since 2001, my office has saved taxpayers $867,336 at an average amount of $144,556 a year. If every Representative spent at this fiscally responsible level, it would save our country over $55 million a year.