Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, today challenged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House Budget Director Peter Orszag in a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal. Congressman Simpson is an original cosponsor of H.J.Res. 1, which would amend the Constitution to require Congress to balance the budget annually.
After listening to the Administration list the numerous kinds of debts they have inherited from the previous Administration in order to place blame on the other party for the current federal deficit, Congressman Simpson addressed Secretary Geithner.
“I have heard a lot about deficits you inherited: the financial deficit, the opportunity deficit, the job deficit, the educational deficit, the investment deficit, and a new one, the foreign relations deficits. The only one I haven’t heard today is the reality deficit that seems to be created from all of these. When I was home in Idaho, everywhere I went, constituents had the same message for me--they wish that we on the federal level were making the same tough budgetary decisions that every state legislature is making right now.”
After the hearing, Simpson added, “This budget is not fiscally responsible over the long term, and the American people are saying that we need to quit spending money. It’s that simple. As I look over this budget, it strikes me that the administration is unwilling to make the tough decisions necessary in order to cut spending and reduce the national debt.”
The FY 2011 budget is the largest in American history. It spends $3.8 trillion and produces a deficit of $1.6 trillion, borrowing 42 cents for each dollar spent. It will create a massive two trillion dollar tax increase over the next decade--an increase which still does not come close to covering the spending within the bill.
“The President’s proposal, though it is only a budget blueprint, illustrates why I believe we need a federal balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. If Congress and the President, like every American family, are forced to pay for every dollar spent in their budget, a new sense of fiscal responsibility would emerge. These record deficits would stop building on each other, and Congress could actually start reducing our debt, which has ballooned to nearly unsustainable levels.”
The House Appropriations Committee is currently in the process of reviewing the FY2011 federal budget.
To watch Congressman Simpson question Secretary Geithner visit his YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/CongMikeSimpson.