Words from Washington

A path to fiscal sanity

Part of the American dream is creating greater opportunities and a better future for the generations that follow. Out-of-control government spending, however, is putting us on track to leave our children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt to pay off rather than a brighter future.

Today, our national debt is more than $14 trillion, which is roughly $42,000 for every American. As a nation, we borrow 42 cents for every dollar we spend, most from foreign countries. And, in the past three years, non-security discretionary spending has increased by 88 percent. We are facing a serious and unsustainable debt crisis and Congress must make dramatic changes to avoid bankrupting America.

That starts with having an honest, fact-based discussion and debate about the federal budget.

The federal budget serves as a blueprint for all government spending. Without a budget there is no plan. Last year, those who controlled Congress chose not to write a plan - and instead continued down the road of expanding government and spending more. This year, the new House Majority is committed to doing things differently.

Cutting spending starts with a plan, and this month the House Budget Committee developed a budget for next year focused on cutting spending and growing our economy. This is a fact-based budget for America's future - restoring fiscal responsibility, getting Washingtonians back to work and ensuring our children and grandchildren have the opportunity of the American dream.

The plan responds to the budget crisis by cutting $6.2 trillion, repealing and defunding President Obama's health care law, bringing non-security discretionary spending back down to pre-stimulus pre-bailout levels, reducing the debt as a percentage of the economy and getting serious about addressing entitlements, which are the biggest drivers of our debt.

This stands in stark contrast to the President's budget proposal for next year that would double the debt held by the public, continue to ignore entitlement spending, impose $1.5 trillion in new taxes on American families and businesses, increase the size and scope of the federal government and continue the status quo out-of-control spending.

More information about the House budget proposal can be found at http://budget.house.gov/fy2012budget/.

- Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Pasco) represents Central Washington's Fourth Congressional District.


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