The White House spent last week describing President Obama's budget as historic. Unfortunately, his proposal was neither inspiring nor compelling, and as a result, it was met with bipartisan opposition. Members of both parties share concerns the President's budget lacks the long-term vision to confront the serious fiscal and economic challenges we face and agree this proposal spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much.
Despite our deficit exceeding its highest level in history, the administration refuses to change course and shrink spending. Instead, the President's budget creates trillions in new spending, all the while failing to address how spending ballooned by 84% during the previous Congress.
In fact, if this budget were enacted, the size of government would nearly double in size compared to the day President Obama took office. Aside from ignoring the American people's demand for restraint, explosive growth in government spending squashes private-sector investments, fuels uncertainty for job creators, and puts an even greater burden on future generations.
But the President did not stop with more spending, he would raise taxes too. President Obama's big government agenda imposes a heavy cost to taxpayers with $1.6 trillion in new taxes. Particularly, these new taxes would harm Nebraska's farmers, ranchers, and small business owners as he proposes raising the Death Tax. President Obama's budget would increase the top Death Tax rate to 45% and lower the exemption level to $3.5 million without indexing for inflation, making the tax even more oppressive and causing thousands of Nebraskans to fall victim to this tax for the first time.
Even though the President seeks to take more hard-earned dollars from the American people to pay for an expanded government, his budget also would continue swelling our national debt. President Obama's budget would double our debt by the end of his first term and triple it ten years after his inauguration. If this budget became law, every Nebraskans' share of the national debt would soar to nearly $70,000 by 2020. Surging our debt to such unsustainable levels will only hasten the road to bankruptcy.
The spending-driven debt crisis we face was epitomized by the failed "stimulus" package, which celebrated its two year anniversary on February 17th. However, it was an unhappy second birthday as taxpayers were reminded of its $1 trillion price tag which accomplished little except adding more red ink to our nation's debt. President Obama predicted the stimulus package would save or create 3.5 million jobs in the two years following its passage. Instead, current job levels are over 7 million fewer than the administration forecasted. The stimulus is a reminder we cannot borrow and spend our way to prosperity.
Last week, I joined my colleagues to cut spending by over $100 billion for the rest of this fiscal year. We acted decisively to bring bold, unprecedented reductions to the federal budget. These reductions were not stops to growth, but genuine cuts which touched some areas of the budget for the very first time. While the work is far from finished, it has begun.
Congress demonstrated once again we are serious about listening to the American's people call to stop the government spending spree and get our fiscal house in order. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues to help pave a new path for long-term economic stability which cuts spending, keeps taxes low, and reduces the size of government.
Congress, or to sign up for my e-mail newsletter, please visit my website at www.adriansmith.house.gov.