Congress is patting itself on the back for passing the payroll tax holiday for the rest of the year along with other spending. The bill’s supporters are quick to point out that this will result in the typical American family keeping an extra $1,000 this year. What they fail to mention is that each family’s share of the national debt will increase by more than $1,000.
If there was a plan to pay this money back, this action could perhaps be justified; but neither party has proposed a plan to ever pay this money back or to even balance the budget within the next 25 years. In fact, this bill comes on the heels of President Obama’s budget that fails to meet his promise to halve the deficit by the end of his first term, despite raising taxes by 20%.
If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we are no longer borrowing money; we are stealing it from our future. At best, we will burden the next generation with an enormous debt; at worst, we will live long enough to see our country go the way of Greece.
Career politician Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) supported the bill in theory, but he attacked the Republicans for ruining it. He said, “I support the Medicare ‘Doc Fix’ in this bill. I support the payroll tax cut extension in this bill. I support the extension of unemployment insurance…” He only complained that the bill would increase retirement contributions from new federal employees hired after January 1, 2013—a change that, over a decade, will offset a mere 10% of the cost that is acquired in 10 months. He argued that “shared sacrifice should mean shared sacrifice,” but apparently he doesn't understand the meaning of the phrase. If everyone were to share in the sacrifice, there would be no tax holiday; instead, Mr. Connolly is really saying that he wants to kick the debt problem down the road for our children to figure out.
The bill passed with support from both Republicans and Democrats. It’s sad that the only time we ever seem to get bi-partisan agreement in Congress is when both parties agree to add to our debt. In fact, my GOP primary opponent praised the passage of this bill, claiming that the provisions in the bill were “excellent things” and stating, “We may have won a small battle with this tax cut, but we’re a long way from winning the war.” To his credit, he did express concern about the additional deficit spending, but if this is how he plans to win battles, our country is surely lost.
This bill was not just a bad bill; it was an immoral act. There are already predictions that we will hit the debt ceiling before Election Day. Members of Congress from both parties are stealing money from our future in order to buy our votes. And those who supported this bill should be held accountable for their behavior.
I am concerned that this bill singled out federal employees, but the problem with the bill is not that one provision. The problem is that our congressmen are unable to show any fiscal restraint. Not only have they failed to propose a responsible long-term budget, they have failed to adopt any budget for three years in a row! We must find leaders who will stop this madness before we end up like Greece.