Congressman Francis Rooney on Budgeting and Fiscal Responsibility
The most important duty of the federal government is to pass a fiscally responsible budget. This would be a budget which funds basic services, honors the commitments made for social security, and provides for the defense and security of our nation and its borders. For far too long we have suffered from irresponsible government spending that has failed to provide for these basic needs, while wasting our hard earned taxpayer dollars in failed efforts to pick winners and losers, fund inefficiency ($535 million wasted on Solyndra, billions for renewable fuel standards, and funding of over $1 billion per year to prop up the failing private sector business known as AMTRAK, for example) and advance a social engineering agenda that is out of touch with all but the far left.
We need to realize that the current amount of spending is unsustainable. Our national debt will soon exceed $20 trillion dollars, which is an obscene burden that should not be passed on to our children and grandchildren. As President Reagan once said; “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.” Any budget that Congress considers must lead to an eventual elimination of the national debt.
In the FY 2017 budget, the federal government has wasted your tax dollars on: $74 million for a program that allows taxpayer backed loans to be repaid with peanuts (really, peanuts), $5 million to study the partying habits of fraternities and sororities, $3.4 million for hamster cage fight matches and $12 million by the IRS on an unused email archiving service. These infuriating examples of waste are just a few of hundreds. While this illustrates how bad the system has become, there are more fundamental issues at stake.
We need the paradigm shift reflected in the Trump budget. This budget cuts spending. It focuses on holding agencies and programs accountable for waste and duplication of efforts, while providing the funding necessary to secure our borders and rebuild our military. It is a budget for limited government. As Congress begins its budget process, I hope earnestly for, and will fight for, a conservative budget that sets a limit on spending. We owe this to the next generation.
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