Friday, July 15, 2011
Hartzer: No new taxes
In her weekly newsletter, Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler continues ripping President Obama and the Democrats for using "scare tactics" and insists she will accept no deal that includes any new taxes.
The big talk in Washington and throughout much of the Fourth Congressional District is President Obama’s request to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. I have heard from citizens back in Missouri and I want you to know I have no intention of giving in to irresponsible borrowing and spending.
Sadly, President Obama has already begun the scare tactics regarding the debt limit. He is threatening the denial of Social Security checks and payments to veterans should a deal on the debt not be reached before August 2nd. This is irresponsible. If President Obama insists on going down this road it will be his decision and his decision, alone, to harm the most vulnerable among us. Even AARP, the country’s largest retirement lobby, has asked the President to stop using “irresponsible rhetoric.” It is time for the scare-mongering to end and for President Obama to step up and get serious about dealing with our out-of-control spending that is harming our nation.
We are encouraging the President to accept the Cut, Cap and Balance proposal for dealing with the debt crisis: It contains cuts, enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget and it embraces congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Cuts to total spending would amount to $111 billion in the 2012 fiscal year that begins October 1st. Total federal spending would then be capped with the scaling back of spending from 22.5 percent of GDP in 2012 to 19.9 percent of GDP by 2021. The third ingredient is the requirement that a Balanced Budget Amendment be passed BEFORE raising the nation’s debt limit. This is crucial as any debt ceiling increase is contingent on the Balanced Budget Amendment passing!
In short - any deal I support must include spending cuts that are greater than the increase and permanent, real budget reforms that will change the trajectory we’re on by putting the brakes on runaway spending and leading us to a balanced budget. Most importantly, there must be no new taxes. Washington is in trouble not because it taxes too little but because it spends too much. If we are to get our country back on the right track we have to take steps to encourage businesses to create jobs – that means we have to stop any talk about implementing new taxes. It is time to demand that our federal government live within its means!
As citizens along parts of the Missouri River deal with flooding and those along other parts of the river prepare for rising waters I want to assure everyone that I am looking to the future to address management of this vital waterway. This week, the House approved the Energy and Water bill that includes plans for the Missouri River. I am proud to have supported an amendment that will restrict funding for the Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan, whose vision for the Missouri River is contrary to navigation and flood control. While I believe in protecting the environment I believe it is essential to strike a balance in which the interests of farmers and businesses along the river are respected. I’ll give you an example of how out of balance priorities regarding the Missouri River have become: This year, the federal government is spending $72 million for ecosystem concerns on the Missouri River while only $6 million is being spent on construction and repair of levees that protect people, farms and businesses from flooding. It’s time to get our priorities straight.
As members of my staff and I monitor upstream dams, reservoirs, and rainfall let me assure you we are keeping a close watch on developments in the 4th Congressional District and are in contact with the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, SEMA, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to make sure emergency officials are ready to assist individuals and local authorities should breaches occur in our area. Let us continue to hope and pray our district will be spared the devastating flooding seen elsewhere.
The House Armed Services Committee held hearings, this week, touching on a couple of important issues – military voting and mishandling of remains at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. On voting, a recent report on the 2010 election showed that 33 percent of military and overseas voters reported attempting to vote, but failed to do so because they did not receive their ballot or received their ballot too late. This is unacceptable! I questioned Department of Defense officials about this intolerable situation and they have assured me they are working to solve this problem as quickly as possible. I expect military and overseas voters to be able to cast their ballots and have their votes count in each election.
As to the Arlington Cemetery disgrace, the Army Criminal Investigations Division continues its probe into possible criminal violations at the cemetery. I will do all I can to make sure the 330,000 graves of men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion for this country are properly accounted for.