Mr. President, Washington has a spending problem
In less than a week, our country faces severe across-the-board spending cuts known in Washington as the “sequester.”
In 2011, President Obama devised sequestration to impose $1.2 trillion in arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts between defense and non-defense spending over the next 10 years. If the president’s sequester cannot be replaced, this will negatively impact both our national and domestic security.
The American people demand that Washington get its fiscal house in order with responsible cuts and reforms that put our country on a path to a balanced budget in 10 years. Unfortunately, the president’s sequester fails to tackle the main drivers of our debt, which is entitlement spending. And in order to grow our economy out of this economic downturn, we must make structural reforms to mandatory programs to make them strong and sustainable for future generations.
So how did Washington manage to get us in this mess in the first place? The answer is pretty straightforward: The government spends too much of our hard-earned money!
Every day, hard-working middle-class families and small-business owners from the 2nd District of Missouri create budgets, set priorities and live within their means. Yet Senate Democrats have failed to pass a budget in four years, and President Obama refuses to submit his budget on time to the American people. With our national debt now exceeding $16 trillion, our country is on an unsustainable path.
House Republicans have already passed two bills to avert the president’s sequester that cut wasteful spending, streamline government programs and save hardworking taxpayers billions of dollars. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats and President Obama have refused to consider these solutions, and instead are content with spending more money we don’t have.
The only plan President Obama has produced is to raise taxes and grow government. The president just raised taxes on all Americans last month, and no one should be talking about tax hikes during a time when the government is spending billions on wasteful projects. It’s time the president put partisan rhetoric aside and lead the American people.
Here are a few examples of wasteful government spending that I am prepared to work with President Obama to cut:
- $2.2 billion in free cell phones
- $115 billion by reducing improper payments to people not authorized to receive these benefits
- $51.6 million in fees to public relations firms to promote Obamacare
- $1.2 million to pay seniors to play video games such as “World of Warcraft”
- $9.8 billion by reforming Medicaid loopholes
- $100 million in EPA grants to foreign countries
- $44 billion by requiring individuals to return overpayments in subsidies in Obamacare
The list goes on and on. So rather than calling for tax hikes and more government spending, Washington Democrats should get to work and embrace some of these sensible spending cuts and find common ground to get our country back on track.
In order to secure a more prosperous future and protect the American dream, Washington must get serious about its spending problem.
I am committed to restoring fiscal sanity to Washington so we can finally grow our economy out of the economic downturn and increase the standard of living for hard-working middle-class families.
U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, represents Missouri's 2nd District.