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Congressman Garret Graves

Representing the 6th District of Louisiana

Busting the Budget

March 2, 2016
Blog Post

In an E-Newsletter earlier this month, I asked readers to participate in an online poll asking which issue should be a top priority for Congress. These polls are useful because they provide real-time input and can help me do a better job of representing you – so, thank you for taking it.

In our poll, reducing the national debt and the size of the federal government was selected as the most important issue facing America over any other single issue. I agree – our soaring national debt, along with the incredible expansion of the size and scope of the federal government, is a major threat to our freedom and America’s future.

The president recently submitted his annual budget proposal to Congress, and unfortunately, it’s a plan that ignores the reality of America’s financial crisis and doubles down on the irresponsible spending habits of the federal government.

The president’s budget would:

  • Never balance

  • Increase spending by $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000.00)

  • Increase taxes by $3.4 trillion ($3,400,000,000,000.00)

  • Grow deficits from $438 ($438,000,000,000.00) billion last year to $793 billion in 10 years.

  • Keep debt held by the public at 75 percent of gross domestic product—the highest level since World War II.

On top of the excessive spending, many policy proposals in the budget would hurt working families in Louisiana, including:

  • Further damaging America’s energy industry with $38 billion in tax increases.

  • A new $10 per-barrel oil tax that increases gas prices by 25 cents per gallon that would cause additional energy production job loss in Louisiana.

  • Over $1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000.00) in new taxes on small businesses and financial institutions.

  • A so-called “business tax reform” that raises $549 billion in new taxes.

  • Increases to the “death tax” of $202 billion.

  • Breaks the total discretionary spending caps by $227 billion.

  • Cuts to Medicare providers of $445 billion.

  • Two years of “free” community college.

America’s national debt recently eclipsed $19 trillion ($19,000,000,000,000.00) – that’s equivalent to almost $160,000 per taxpayer. In the next six years, interest payments on our national debt – not including payments toward the principle – is projected to exceed military spending. And without a course correction, it will only worsen from there – by some estimates, we could see an additional $9.4 ($9,400,000,000,000.00) trillion added to the debt over the course of the next decade. These reckless spending habits unfairly burden our children and grandchildren and are simply unsustainable.

So, now what?

Our course can be corrected, and there are many of us in Congress working to reverse the trend of inefficient, wasteful and excessive government spending through responsible fiscal policy, including a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

In the coming weeks, the Congress will propose a responsible budget that balances over time, does not raise taxes, cuts spending, and sets the country on a path to pay off the national debt. I support passing a budget that balances this fiscal year, but it will take time to roll back the years of undisciplined government spending. I am committed balancing our budget and will continue the fight to make it happen. If you’d like to share your perspective on this issue, please email today.