We’ve all heard the phrase, “If you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” Unfortunately, when President Obama unearthed his budget proposal this week, we were reminded that this common sense advice too often falls on deaf ears in Washington. I had hoped the president would use this opportunity to finally address our nation’s fiscal challenges and offer solutions to the people who are suffering under the Obama economy, but his plan makes it obvious that he’s more interested in his kick-the-can-down-the-road, business-as-usual approach.
Washington’s reckless spending has landed us in a hole of more than $18 trillion of debt. Written in full, we are talking about more than $18,000,000,000,000 – that’s a staggering, almost incomprehensible number. To put it into perspective, that’s more than $56,000 debt for you and every other man, woman and child in the United States. The numbers speak for themselves and help paint a truly troubling picture of the fiscal crisis we face. But for me, it’s more than the numbers, charts and graphs. It’s about real people I’ve met and listened to who are playing by the rules, but barely keeping their heads above water. It’s about a couple in North Carolina who both work part-time jobs and worry if they’re going to be able to pay the bills this month. It’s about a mother in our district who is fighting to provide a better life for her children, but struggling to make ends meet.
These are the constant worries and anxieties felt by real people right here at home. Unfortunately, President Obama just doesn’t get it. Our economy is experiencing the slowest recovery since World War II -- one that hasn’t touched the lives of too many families in North Carolina. We have to climb out of this rut and get the economy growing faster, and that starts with putting the shovel down.
As I reviewed the president’s $4 trillion budget, three nonstarters stood out to me:
• First, the president’s budget never balances. EVER. North Carolina families balance their own budgets, and they expect and deserve the same from their government.
• Second, it increases the national debt by $8.5 trillion. This is simply irresponsible and leads us further down an unsustainable path.
• Third, the President’s budget increases taxes by $2.1 trillion – this is on top of $1.7 trillion in tax hikes already imposed by this administration. Asking hard-working taxpayers to fork over more of our money to maintain the status quo in Washington would effectively halt the economic growth needed to get folks back to work.
• And last, but definitely not least, it funds Obamacare and funnels $12.9 billion into the IRS, the agency responsible for enforcing the individual mandate. This disastrous health care law has sent costs skyrocketing, taken choice from patients, and moved us into a part-time economy. That’s exactly why I voted this week to repeal Obamacare and put us on a path to advance patient-centered reforms that foster job creation, lower costs and empower patients with more choices.
We need a plan that grows the economy instead of the government and offers real solutions to folks here at home. I support a budget that balances while protecting our national security interests. This is how we will get our nation out of the hole we’re in, get people back to work, and provide folks the peace of mind that tomorrow will be better than today.
U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson represents the 8th Congressional District. He can be reached at 704-786-1612.