Senator John ThuneThis past week, America witnessed the national debt reach $13 trillion for the first time in our nation's history. This staggering figure means that every person living in the United States, no matter how old or young, currently owes approximately $42,000 as their share of the nation's debt.
Despite this staggering amount of debt, Washington continues to spend billions of dollars often under the guise of economic recovery, yet no real results have been forthcoming. Also concerning is the fact that this year the Democrat-led Senate has passed over $230 billion in waivers to the PAYGO law that was designed to control spending.
Last week we also learned that of the 431,000 jobs created in May, 411,000 were temporary Census workers, leaving only 41,000 private sector jobs created last month. While private sector growth of any kind is a good sign in these down economic times, I'm discouraged that nearly 95 percent of the jobs created last month were taxpayer-funded government jobs.
Democrats pushed last year's trillion dollar stimulus bill through Congress on the promise that it would bring our nation back from the brink and keep the unemployment rate below eight percent. The trillion dollar stimulus, along with continued spending initiatives, have failed to restore our economy and have failed to keep the national unemployment rate below eight percent. Unemployment currently stands at 9.7 percent.
In order to get our economy back on the road to long-term recovery, Congress must begin to take decisive action to restore our fiscal house, and must do so without adding to the out-of-control national debt.
That is why I introduced an amendment to the tax bill currently being debated in the Senate that would cut both taxes and wasteful spending. Unlike the proposal put forward by my Democrat colleagues that would increase taxes by $47 billion and add $80 billion to the deficit, my proposal would actually reduce the deficit by $55 billion. In these difficult economic times, the American people cannot afford to fund new proposals through deficit spending or new taxes; but, we also cannot afford for Congress to stand still.
My proposal is a common sense one: slash wasteful spending and pass true tax relief. My deficit-reducing proposal is a step toward creating jobs and improving the economy by keeping taxes low, and reining in Washington's runaway spending.
Across South Dakota, people have had to tighten their belts-the federal government should too. Instead of more dangerous deficit spending, Congress must begin to listen to the people and finally put an end to the wasteful spending it has become known for.