Issue Position: Budget and Spending

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2015

Budget and Spending
Families across the nation understand what it means to make tough choices each day about what they can and cannot afford, and one of the basic tenets of business is to not spend more than they earn. Elected officials should not be allowed to simply pass on making similar tough decisions and should be held to the same standard of the average American taxpayer or company.

Yet the U.S. is in the red by more than $17,000,000,000,000 - and yes, there are 12 zeroes in one trillion dollars. Our nation's long-term deficit and current national debt level is both unfathomable and unsustainable. We simply must change the trajectory of spending in Washington. In the short-term, Congress can begin immediately by enacting sensible cost-cutting measures and eliminating wasteful and duplicative federal programs. In order to prevent crippling deficits and debt over the long-term, federal entitlement programs must be reformed in a way that protects current beneficiaries and allows current workers to enjoy a safe and stable retirement. We must restore fiscal sanity.

As a matter of principle, taxpayers must have the right to a federal government that does not grow beyond their ability to pay for it and the right to expect a balanced federal budget. And Congress must create an atmosphere in our country that will foster job growth. Simply put, the private sector, not the public sector, creates prosperity. We don't need more government or a bigger one. We just need our government to focus on accountability, responsibility and oversight. Below are two plans I believe achieve this, which I voted yes for, for a more stable and secure America for my kids and your kids, and our grandkids:
Path to Prosperity: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan
The House Budget Committee, led by Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has drafted a Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Resolution that would reduce our nation's debt and deficits, reform our overly-burdensome tax code, and put our nation's entitlement programs and finances back on a path to sustainability. Specifically the plan would cut federal spending by $6.2 trillion over ten years, eliminate hundreds of duplicative programs, repeal ObamaCare, and return America to a balanced budget and zero debt.
Republican Study Committee Budget for FY2012
The Republican Study Committee, the caucus of House conservatives, has also drafted a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2012 which builds on the bold work of Chairman Paul Ryan and fundamentally changes the culture of spending in Washington. In fact, the proposal balances the budget by 2020, freezes spending at 2008 levels, reforms the budget process, and strengthens our nation's entitlement programs for generations to come.

Balanced Budget Amendment

To that end, I am a co-sponsor of a Constitutional amendment requiring that Congress balance the federal budget every year. Many state governments, including Michigan's, already require a balanced budget. There is no reason that the federal government cannot achieve the same. This common sense measure would force Congress to eliminate unnecessary and wasteful spending and make the decisions necessary to balance the budget and eliminate the federal deficit.