Recent Op-Eds

If a neighborhood small business spends more money than it brings in, it is no surprise when it has to close its doors. South Dakota families work hard to live within budgets, and successful business owners balance their ledgers before considering any kind of expansion. The federal government at the direction of the Democrat Congress and the Obama Administration, however, does not seem to be constrained by such common sense.

Recently, the White House budget office released a report projecting that the federal government will run a $9 trillion deficit over the next decade. This number is so large that it is almost beyond comprehension. However, according to the Heritage Foundation, all this spending this year means that each household will be taxed more than $17,000 even though the government will spent almost $31,000 per household. Effectively, this means that the federal government is spending over $13,000 per household than what it collects in taxes. Even more alarming, the long term deficit projections from the White House would amount to nearly $80,000 per household in new borrowing over the next decade.

These figures do not account for the health care reform proposals currently being debated in Congress. These plans carry price tags of over $1 trillion that would be funded by increased taxation, additional borrowing, or both. Adding the cost of health care reform on to the level of spending and borrowing already in effect would be devastating to our nation's long term fiscal stability.

The nation's fiscal health would be put in further danger if the Senate passes anything similar to the controversial cap and trade bill passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year. Cap and trade would increase energy prices for all consumers while destroying jobs in the energy, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors. Increased energy taxes could easily prolong our economic slump at a time when we can least afford it. Rather than instituting a new government mandate, I support various straightforward efforts to incentivize the transition to cleaner forms of energy without causing a drastic impact on individuals, families, businesses and our economy.

If a family or business had to borrow 43 cents for every dollar it spent, the situation would be unsustainable but that's exactly the amount of money the federal government is borrowing this year to cover the significant amount of spending. For an individual or business under the example above, they were certainly lose their home or go out of business.

To address this situation, the Obama Administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress must either significantly raise taxes or substantially decrease spending. Raising taxes would slow economic growth, destroy small businesses, and cost many people their jobs, so it is an unacceptable solution. Congress and the White House must work in a bipartisan manner to curb excessive government spending and borrowing before it is too late. We cannot simply continue to increase the dangerous level of debt by passing it along to future generations thinking that it will magically resolve itself.