Congress as usual: Mounting huge debts
I found myself once again shaking my head in disbelief after reading Congressman Oberstar's most recent column entitled "Restoring fiscal discipline." The column is an example of a 35-year incumbent politician spinning absolute fiscal irresponsibility into a justifiable action; while continuing to blame previous administrations and misrepresenting the truth.
This administration and this Congress have imposed the largest debt and spending proposal ever recorded. This budget will increase spending by $1.7 trillion and increase our national debt to $14.3 trillion, a 49 percent increase over last year's proposal.
Even more troubling, actions by this Congress have increased our national debt limit (their second such increase) to $14.3 trillion. This action has committed our country and its taxpayer to a bill equaling 100 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. Simply put, we the taxpayers, have been placed in a situation wherein we owe exactly what we make.
Mr. Oberstar stretches plausibility when he claims these actions intelligently represent the taxpayers of his 8th Congressional District. At present, our debt increases $3.8 billion a day on interest alone. It is the height of irresponsibility and complete detachment from reality to represent the debt that is currently being transferred to our children (and subsequent generations) as responsible government and fiscal discipline.
This administration's budget will accumulate more debt than all the other presidents in American history, from George Washington through George W. Bush; combined. Blaming previous administrations for this spending is simply a misrepresentation of the truth and a work of arrogant and colorful historic revisionism. Such passing the buck shows a lack of accountability for personal actions.
The trillion-dollar deficits began as unsustainable spending on bailouts and stimulus schemes in the face of declining federal revenues. To complete the subversion of all common sense, any mention of deficit reduction by this administration is based upon tax increases and not spending reductions.
The PAYGO (pay-as-you-go) program that Congressman Oberstar refers to is nowhere near the same program offered under the Clinton administration. This administration's PAYGO program would totally exempt present and future stimulus bills from showing up on the balance sheet.
Nearly all future spending would be immune to public scrutiny under the PAYGO plot; another example of smoke and mirrors to conceal real spending from the American people. In fact, Congress has had a version of PAYGO since 2007; and has violated it time and time again, causing our national debt to soar to an unmanageable and unsustainable point.
Even if all the currency in circulation (including money from every piggy bank) were collected from every source; we still would not have enough money to repay this current debt.
In the future, we will be forced to make hard choices. As a country, we must create positive business environments for job growth and revenue enhancement, cut massive spending such as economic stimulus packages, TARP and big government, pay down the debt, and bring long-term sustainability to unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare.
Increasing the debt of every American household by $75,000 cannot in any way be fathomed as "Restoring fiscal discipline." It can only be seen as inter-generational theft. Poor choices, disregard for the taxpayers and the fallacy that government has a proper role in everything are what got us to this point.
Stepping back from the brink will take a new approach, fiscal integrity and a new group of representatives. We need representatives who not only answer to the people but also are unafraid to make the tough choices because they are the right choices to restore our nation.
Chip Cravaack of North Branch, Minn., is seeking the Republican endorsement in the U.S. House 8th District.