One of the reasons I decided to run for Congress was to ensure that my grandchildren have more opportunities than my generation had. I wanted to help change the direction of our country and instill fiscal sanity back into Washington by putting a stop to the spending sprees that have launched our country into overwhelming debt.
Not only is the national debt now more than $15.5 trillion, but Congress is also in its third consecutive year of deficits over a trillion dollars. Our country simply cannot afford spending taxpayer money at this rate; Washington is literally bankrupting our nation by spending money it doesn’t have. Our country is on a path to fiscal ruin, and unless something is done, future generations will inherit a country in which the American dream is a thing of the past.
As a member of the House Budget Committee, I am proud to have worked on and voted for the FY 2013 Budget Resolution, which takes steps to rein in federal spending and put the country back on the path to prosperity. The budget cuts more than $5 trillion by eliminating duplicative government programs, ending corporate welfare, and fostering economic certainty so businesses can again create jobs and put our economy back on track.
Additionally, the Internal Revenue Code has not been overhauled in more than 25 years. As a result, the current tax code is hopelessly complex and outdated. To bring fairness to our tax policy, we must eliminate many tax deductions and loopholes that have been added by lobbyists and special interests over the decades. This budget starts to reform our federal tax code by reducing the current rates for all taxpayers and eliminating many deductions (which often benefit small segments of the population).
Our budget also began the process to ensure Medicare and Social Security are there for those who rely on it today, as well as future generations. We must take steps soon to preserve and protect these vital programs so they are in place for generations to come. Unless Congress and the President act, the Medicare Trust Fund will default on its obligations to seniors in just a few short years. If this problem is not addressed, Medicare would require an immediate 24 percent increase in taxes or a 17 percent reduction in benefits to seniors to be in balance. If this happens, current seniors and future generations would no longer have the care they need. As a father and a grandfather, I cannot in good conscience pass that burden on to my children and grandchildren, and I don’t want to pass it on to yours.
The proposed House Budget for Fiscal Year 2013 would take responsible steps to preserve and protect Medicare. It would repeal President Obama’s health care law, including the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), so patients can control their healthcare choices and options rather than unaccountable government bureaucrats.
IPAB is a panel of unelected bureaucrats appointed by the President that would be given the authority to deny payment for services. The panel was created by the President’s health care law to slow the growth of Medicare spending. Unfortunately, its primary method of cutting costs will be to further reduce reimbursement rates for doctors, threatening access to care.
As I think of future generations I cannot sit idly by while our country is headed for a crisis that would devastate their future; the House passed budget is a first step toward a brighter tomorrow. The problems our nation is facing have been ignored or glossed over for years. The House budget offers potential solutions and I have faith we can turn our country around and once again ensure that the American dream is attainable for all.