Across the country Americans have begun to voice their anger and frustration with the federal government’s tax, borrow and spend policy. Just two weeks ago hundreds of thousands of Americans gathered together in a series of “Tax Day Tea Parties,” which together formed the largest anti-tax protest since the American Revolution. Now that April 15 has passed, we must continue to voice our frustration and stand by our commitment to change the reckless spending practices of Washington, D.C.
When President Obama took office, I was hopeful that he would stand by his campaign promises to cut spending and reign in federal debt. As you may remember, I wrote a reflection on the January 20 inauguration that expressed these hopes. I encouraged everyone to pray for the President and look for ways to embrace our common goals. However, since that time I, along with many other Americans, have been severely disappointed.
Our “history making president” has continued to make history, just not quite what we were looking for. President Bush, in his last year in office, left us with the largest deficit in American history. President Obama will nearly quadruple that with a budget proposal containing a deficit of $1.8 trillion. Over the course of his presidency, President Bush accumulated $2 trillion in deficits. According to the White House Budget Office, President Obama’s budget proposal will result in $7 trillion in deficits by 2019. The Congressional Budget Office expects the deficit to reach $9.3 trillion.
Despite being in office for just 100 days, President Obama has already proposed a spending plan that will lead to unsurpassed deficits and passed a stimulus bill approaching $800 billion. He has proposed a $634 billion “down payment” on a new government health care fund. His actions have further threatened to nationalize, or in some other way overhaul, our banks, health care, education and utilities. The president’s “Cap and Trade” proposal would cost the average American family $3,900 per year in higher energy costs. To the average middle class citizen these actions mean less money in our pockets.
We have been “Taxed Enough Already.” The change we were promised last fall appears to be taking the form of an acceleration of the already out of control spending habits in Washington. It is time to let Washington know that we will not continue to be led in the wrong direction. The Tea Parties of two weeks ago were a good start, but that was all they were. Now we must continue to fight for real change.
Rep. Jay Neal represents the citizens of District 1, which includes portions of Catoosa and Walker counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2004, and is currently the vice-chairman of the Insurance Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations, Economic Development and Tourism, and Public Safety and Homeland Security committees.