PJ Media

Rep. Hoekstra: 'It's the Spending'

Washington’s budgetary decisions — or lack thereof — are unacceptable. While Washington has no problem figuring out new ways to collect revenues, it does have a spending problem, one that is perpetuated by Michigan Senator Debbie “Spend-It-Now.”

Washington Democrats, like Debbie Stabenow, have long forgotten Benjamin Franklin’s adage “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Under current projections, spending will increase from roughly 23 percent of the GDP in 2012 to over 35 percent in 2035. Further, annual deficits will grow to over 15 percent of the GDP in the next 20 years, and publicly held debt could expand to over 185 percent of the GDP.

This doesn’t even include the unfunded mandates in Social Security, Medicare, and federal employee retirement. This is a dangerous place for America’s economy to be.

Foreign countries already own more U.S. debt than ever before. In fact, China — the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt — owns $1.1 trillion alone. Beyond the economic concerns this arrangement raises, China’s possession of our debt poses a dangerous threat to our national security, fracturing the soft-power leverage that is necessary to keep our country safe.

Debbie Stabenow’s record is filled with years of reckless spending and job-killing policies that increase our national debt and our reliance on China. For instance, in 2009 she voted for Obama’s $2.5 trillion health care bill, a job killer.

While American employment suffered because of Stabenow’s deciding vote on health care reform, China’s job market prospered. Peter Ferrara writes in the American Spectator that ObamaCare will pay for new, life-saving treatments and technologies that will be developed overseas in countries like China.

Debbie Spend-It-Now also voted for the $1 trillion stimulus package, which I opposed. Stabenow again claimed this bill was “all about creating jobs.” However, according to the Columbus Dispatch:

Federal stimulus money awarded to support American wind-energy projects is going to the foreign manufacturers of turbines…. [T]he grants stimulated more than 6,800 manufacturing jobs outside the U.S.

Moreover, the Department of Energy acknowledged that up to 80 percent of some green energy programs went to foreign countries, including China.

To augment the problem, Debbie Spend-It-Now and Senate Democrats have failed to pass a budget in over 1,000 days. They have punted on their basic responsibility, putting our children’s future at risk and surrendering our nation’s future to those who don’t have America’s best interests in mind.

Tough decisions need to be made to protect our economy and our security. The time for action is now. The 2012 elections will be a choice between “Spend-It-Now” or “Spend It Not.”

A “Spend It Not” approach, which I endorse, has at its core the implementation of a constitutional government. We will reform government and balance our federal budget.

Here are just a few ideas: think K-12 education, highway gas tax dollars, and Medicaid. In each of these areas the federal government has created massive bureaucracies, reams of rules, and regulations that have become barriers to effective and efficient delivery of services. There is a better way. Cut out the red tape, empower states, and devolve the federal role in each of these areas. We will get better results and more bang for our buck.

This also clarifies the roles and responsibilities between the federal government and the states. It is what our Founding Fathers outlined in the Tenth Amendment. Unfortunately, Debbie Stabenow seems more than willing to yield our future to the Chinese, but has taken a hard stance against rightfully ceding power back to the states.

We also need to seriously take on Social Security and Medicare. If left untouched, these programs will go bankrupt, leaving no such benefits for our children. Certainly, current beneficiaries must be protected. For future generations, however, we must have a plan that will keep Social Security and Medicare solvent.

Bold steps will also be required to reform our health care system and the tax code. The first step will be simple: repeal ObamaCare and abolish the current tax code. We must cure the health care system’s disease, not mask its symptoms with a government takeover. It is also the time to create a tax code that is simple and fair and keeps more money in the hands of the American people. The end result will be more economic freedom, which will drive more economic growth.

We must save the American Dream from the overzealous spending of Washington liberals like Debbie Stabenow. As Michigan’s senator, I will embrace a “Spend It Not” mentality, work with both sides of the aisle to make the tough decisions our country needs, and fight to save the American Dream.