Congressman Michael Turner | Proudly Serving Ohio's 10th District

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Reckless Government Spending Threatens America’s Future

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Washington, Jul 21, 2009 | comments
As the federal government continues to dive headlong into unprecedented debt with increasing speed, the Administration justifies each deeper plunge as “urgent.” What’s becoming clear to more Americans is an urgent need to slow down and consider the effects of too much deficit spending.
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The Obama Administration has increased pressure on Congress to pass health care reform before early August with seemingly little regard for the ultimate cost to the taxpayer.  As the federal government continues to dive headlong into unprecedented debt with increasing speed, the Administration justifies each deeper plunge as “urgent.” What’s becoming clear to more Americans is an urgent need to slow down and consider the effects of too much deficit spending.

The federal budget deficit, the amount of money that Washington overspends versus its income each year, is projected to reach near $1.8 trillion in 2009.  The federal budget deficit for 2008 was $455 billion.  Keep in mind many were calling last year’s budget deficit too high.  But the Obama Administration’s new budget creates a federal deficit about four times greater than the one before it.

For most Americans, federal spending statistics don’t hit home as dramatically as another number that’s in the news of late – the unemployment rate.  Just last week, Ohio’s jobless level rose to 11 percent – the highest in 25 years.  With jobs being shed at rates not seen in a generation, people are wondering just what all this new government spending is accomplishing for them?

The $700 billion “urgent” government bailout of Wall Street last October has so far provided a means for the government take-over of General Motors and given Washington stock in many financial institutions.  It also helped fund lavish bonuses for AIG executives even as taxpayers rescued their corporation.  For many, if not most homeowners at risk of foreclosure, the bailout did little to nothing to help them keep their homes.

The $800 billion “urgent” stimulus, passed by Congress in February, was sold as a vehicle to jump-start the troubled economy and provide “shovel-ready” jobs to millions of Americans.  The reality is to date this spending has had no positive impact upon the job market as the unemployment figures show.  In fact, the jobless rate has steadily climbed since the passage of the stimulus bill – a development that Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged in recent weeks.

As Americans continue to lose their jobs, the Administration made another “urgent” appeal to pass an energy and climate bill that actually limits energy choices while imposing higher energy costs and increased prices for services on all Americans.

President Obama now wants Congress to hastily pass an “urgent” national health care program that could come with a $1 trillion price tag over the next ten years.  The Congressional Budget Office says the new health care reform plan will not reduce long term health costs.  But yet again, Congress is poised to pass a bill which could have serious consequences for the economy as taxes are placed on struggling small businesses to help pay for national health care.

Last October, I voted against the $700 billion bailout of our nation’s financial industry, and, in February, I also opposed the $800 billion economic stimulus.  Both bills were ill-considered, did not help those who’ve suffered the most due to job loss and home foreclosures, and lacked details as to how the $1.5 trillion would be spent.  I also opposed the Administration’s Cap and Trade energy bill since it fails to address the important energy needs facing Ohio families, would further burden our state’s manufacturing base, and cause additional job losses.

It’s unfortunate that the Administration is attempting to rush through an unaffordable health care reform bill that will likely do little to control health care costs.  Americans deserve and demand an Administration that is focused on creating jobs, not higher government spending.
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