A quick round-up, as I’ve got an exam in four hours:
Earlier today, a bill setting forth the congressional budget for 2010 and budgetary levels for 2001 through 2014 passed the House with no Republican support. The vote was 233 to 193, with 17 Democrats cutting against the grain. Those Democrats:
- John Barrow (GA-12)
- Dan Boren (OK-2)
- Bobby Bright (AL-2)
- Travis Childers (MS-1)
- Bill Foster (IL-14)
- Parker Griffith (AL-5)
- Frank Kratovil (MD-1)
- Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
- Betsy Markey (CO-4)
- James Marshall (GA-8)
- Jim Matheson (UT-2)
- Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
- Walter Minnick (ID-1)
- Harry Mitchell (AZ-5)
- Glenn Nye (VA-2)
- Gene Taylor (MS-4)
- Harry Teague (NM-2)
So, if your representative is a Republican, call him or her and say thank you. If your representative is one of these 17 Democrats, call him or her and say thank you. Yes, even Dennis Kucinich (I like Dennis!).
At $3.55 trillion, Barack Obama’s budget is gargantuan, and will from here go to the Senate for final approval, and then on to the president, where it will likely be signed into law. I received the following statement from North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones, very much a voice of reason when it comes to matters of fiscal conservatism:
During difficult times, American families and small businesses make sacrifices and do what they can to tighten their belts and reign in spending. Most people expect the federal government to do the same. Sadly, Washington has chosen to go on a spending spree and ignore the pressing demand for fiscal discipline. Rather than scale back wasteful spending, this budget resolution is projected to nearly triple the national debt over the next 10 years.
The spending in this budget resolution calls for a $1.23 trillion deficit for 2010, which will lead to unprecedented borrowing from China, the Middle East, and other foreign countries that own our ballooning debt. Problems that have been caused by too much spending and too much debt simply can’t be solved by more government spending and more federal debt. The fact that April 26th was already “Debt Day” – the day in the fiscal year when federal spending surpasses revenues – obviously hasn’t registered in Washington. This Congress needs to wake up and realize its moral obligation to avoid passing on a mountain of debt to America’s future generations.
While our nation continues to suffer amid a faltering economy, this budget includes $1.5 trillion in tax increases over the next 10 years. It not only imposes new taxes on corporate businesses but raises income taxes, harming the most successful small businesses that pay taxes at the top two individual rates. This budget also includes a new national energy tax that will cost every American household. Hiking taxes during an economic downturn will only hurt small businesses and slow job creation.
With its fast-track ‘reconciliation’ procedure to push through sweeping policy changes like government run-health care and its expansion of the federal government through huge increases in spending, taxes, and deficits, this budget resolution will plunge our nation further into debt and keep us from getting back on the right economic track.
Perhaps, after exams are done, I’ll have the chance to track down Congressman Jones for a comprehensive interview on the first 100-plus days of this new administration and congress. He’s always been gracious in the past, and I’m fairly certain he’ll be equally so in the future.
In the meantime, we need to continue to stand up and let our voices be heard. Barack Obama’s policies, if there is a silver lining to be found, seem to have helped Republicans in the House and Senate wake up and remember their values and ideals. We will be stronger for having endured this presidency.
And if not, we secede. (That was a joke. Okay, sort of a joke.)