Spending money it does not have
By Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL 8th District)
There was near-universal support in Washington for extending the tax cuts for middle class Americans. The House passed a bipartisan bill (H.R. 8) on August 1, 2012, to provide this relief, and I supported that bill. Since August, that bill sat in the Senate, and when it finally came to a vote, Senators reportedly had only three minutes to read the final bill, which was passed at 2 a.m. on January 1, 2013.
Later that day, an analysis of the Senate's amended bill revealed over $330 billion in new deficit spending, inserted at the last minute, totally unrelated to middle class tax relief. Adding billions of dollars at the last minute to "must pass" legislation has led to the largest debt any nation has ever accumulated. I voted against this added spending.
Nearly 35 cents out of every dollar that Washington spends is borrowed - China being one of our largest creditors. Adding more debt will lead to national bankruptcy and will undermine our national sovereignty. While 80 percent of Americans agree federal spending must be controlled, Washington has not gotten the message.
Rather than further raising the debt limit, which already stands at $16.4 trillion, Congress must first seek responsible spending restraint. Setting priorities and preventing wasteful spending is the only way to ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a stable and prosperous America.
For those who think the higher taxes that just kicked in will balance our budget, consider that they will bring in only $62 billion a year. Our annual deficit is $1 trillion, or about 16 times that amount. Clearly, the problem is spending.
In 1997, the U.S. Senate defeated the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) by one vote, telling Americans they did not need the BBA to stop runaway spending. On that day, the debt was $5 trillion. Today, it is $16.4 trillion, and it will surpass $22.4 trillion in four years if we make no changes.
Adoption of the BBA is long overdue. It's not going to be easy to put our fiscal house in order, but the sooner we get started the less painful it will be. Our children deserve better than the perilous path that is currently before them.