As a firm believer in limited government and a capitalist economy, I am very concerned about the out-of-control spending by our government, and the enormous debt future Americans will inherit. More government is not the answer. More spending is not the answer. More taxes are not the answer. The answers are found through hard choices to cut spending and to limit the government, thereby ensuring a stronger, safer America for tomorrow.
Debt, Deficits, and Spending
A budget deficit occurs when government spending is greater than the revenue collected in the same fiscal year. In contrast, the national debt is the accumulation of each year’s deficit. Since 1970, there have only been four years during which the federal government has not operated in deficit. As a result, our national debt now exceeds $26.6 trillion, which translates into more than $80,000 per citizen.
Lowering America’s debt burden is critical because when interest rates rise, the government’s debt payments will begin to crowd out other parts of the federal budget, and individuals will begin to see higher rates on mortgages, credit cards, and car loans as a result.
Mandatory spending—to include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, other directed outlays, and interest payments on the debt—consumes 70 percent of all federal spending each year. In fact, interest payments on our debt have become the sixth largest category in the federal budget. As long as outlays continue to exceed federal receipts, resulting in annual deficits in the billions of dollars, this situation is unsustainable.
While I generally oppose deficit spending, I realize these are extraordinary times, requiring strategic intervention to maintain national stability. That said, we cannot spend our way back to recovery. Congress must remember what hard working Americans already know: we cannot build a thriving economy on a bloated government that spends and taxes too much. Reckless spending will push our debt burden higher, and the current generation of Americans will have the sad legacy of being the first to lower the standard of living for the next generation. If we do not change course, current fiscal policies will push our debt burden higher than $30 trillion by 2022.
On December 19, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It was signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017.
Congress embraced the extraordinary opportunity to fix a broken system and to relieve the undue burden of costly taxes from so many Americans. In reforming the tax code, we lower taxes for all Americans by reducing every single tax bracket. The standard deduction has nearly doubled for everyone. With lower taxes across the board, businesses, both large and small, will be better able to foster job creation, wage growth, and competitiveness.
In Texas’ 14th Congressional District, a typical middle-income family of four will see a tax cut of $2,432.
The tax reform law provides relief for American families. It allows you to keep more of every paycheck by reducing tax rates at all income levels and nearly doubling the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. It doubles the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child to better help parents with the cost of raising children. It also preserves the mortgage interest deduction to help current and aspiring homeowners. The law continues to allow people to write off the cost of state and local taxes up to $10,000 and provides you with the ability to deduct property taxes and income taxes—or sales taxes—to best fit your unique needs.
The tax law will also grow jobs, paychecks, and our economy. It delivers historic tax relief for businesses of all sizes so our local job creators can keep more of their income to invest in their businesses and workers. It helps unleash the growth of jobs and paychecks by allowing all businesses to immediately deduct the full cost of new equipment that improves operations and enhances the skills of workers. It establishes America as a 21st century magnet for job creation and encourages companies to bring home their profits from abroad to invest here in our communities. It protects American workers and prevents jobs from moving overseas by eliminating incentives that reward companies for shifting jobs, profits, and manufacturing plants abroad.
This law means more of your hard-earned money in your pocket. It means more jobs created. It means a fairer and simpler tax code. It is pro-family. It is pro-growth. This is a tax cut for all Americans.
Since arriving in Congress, I have supported efforts to balance the budget. I co-sponsored a resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. If adopted by Congress and ratified by three-quarters of the states, this amendment would prohibit federal spending from exceeding total revenues each fiscal year unless Congress authorizes more spending by a 3/5 vote of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
I supported House Concurrent Resolution 25, the House Budget Resolution which proposed a plan to balance the budget in ten years, introduced by Representative Paul Ryan (WI) on March 15, 2013. Under that budget, spending would be roughly $41.46 trillion over ten years, which is a slower rate of growth in spending when compared to current law. If followed, the federal budget would have reached balance in 2023, when the government would have produced a $7 billion surplus.
House Joint Resolution 5, a resolution introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) on January 3, 2019, proposes to amend the Constitution by requiring a balanced federal budget. If adopted by Congress and ratified by three-quarters of the states, this amendment would prohibit federal spending from exceeding total revenues each fiscal year. It would also limit spending to an amount equal to 18 percent of the previous fiscal year’s gross domestic product. If ratified, either of these two provisions could be overridden only if Congress authorizes a specific amount of excess spending by a roll call vote of two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Representatives.For more information concerning my work and views related to fiscal policy, please contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you.