Recent Op-Eds

President Obama recently released his Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal to Congress. This spending blueprint begins the budget process and sets the tone for the debate that will ensue in the halls of Congress.

With our national debt now over $14 trillion, many of us were looking for the president to make tough, but necessary, decisions regarding our country's spending priorities. Unfortunately, the president offered a budget that would increase our nation's spending every single year for the next decade, spending nearly $46 trillion during that period. The spending included in the president's budget is expected to add $13 trillion to our nation's debt by 2021.

In addition to spending and debt, the president's budget would increase taxes on energy, death, families, small businesses, and charitable giving, among other things, to the tune of $1.6 trillion. Washington does not have a revenue problem; Washington has a spending problem. Instead of increasing taxes on average South Dakotans, we should be decreasing our government's wasteful spending and borrowing. To help enforce these new taxes, the president's budget would add an estimated 1,054 new Internal Revenue Service agents. With our nation's unemployment rate at or above nine percent for the past 21 consecutive months, we should be focusing on ways to encourage job creation in the private sector, not more government jobs.

During these tough economic times, South Dakota families have been forced to make painful cuts in their household budgets. The president has decided to take a pass on these tough decisions and push them off for future leaders, leaving our country in an even worse financial situation.

In the coming weeks, I will be reintroducing my budget reform bill from the last session of Congress in an effort to reform our broken budget process and make necessary spending reforms. Additionally, I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass serious spending cuts in the Continuing Resolution, which will fund government operations for the remainder of the year since the Democrat-led Congress failed to pass a budget or a single appropriation bill last year.

Our country has a serious spending problem and our elected officials can no longer pass the buck in taking measures to prevent a looming fiscal crisis for future generations.