Close Menu Congressman Kurt Schrader

reducing federal deficit

Congress must avert the "fiscal cliff" and lay a framework for a prosperous American future

Congress has many important issues to tackle before the end of this year. One of the most important of which is dealing with our nation's out of control debt and deficits and averting the impending "fiscal cliff" that threatens our national security and endangers our economy.

The fiscal cliff scheduled for the end of the year is the result of the lapsing of the Bush Tax Cuts and across the board spending cuts to defense and domestic programs. This fiscal cliff originated from the failure of the Super Committee to come to an agreement on how to deal with our revenue and entitlement problems. If Congress fails to act and allows our economy to fall over the edge, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts our economy will go back into a recession.

Our nation cannot afford to stall the recovery and risk another down grade in the full faith and credit of the United States that occurred during the debt ceiling debate in the Summer of 2011. Moody's Investors Service has already cautioned of another possible U.S. credit rating downgrade if Congress does not take steps to tackle our nation's mounting debt. Further, America's businesses, our job creators, are waiting to invest any capital they have until they see their government take serious steps to create certainty in the economic climate.

Fortunately, there are responsible answers to these problems that are mathematically sound and politically possible if partisanship can be temporarily pushed aside. Tax revenues are the lowest they have been since World War II and need to increase through comprehensive tax reform. Necessary reforms to our entitlement programs need to be put in place to guarantee their solvency for future beneficiaries. A debt reduction and jobs package that couples spending cuts with tax and entitlement reforms would lay a strong framework for continued American economic superiority.

Congress must immediately address our debt and deficits head on and unwaveringly. By cutting government spending, simplifying the tax code and strengthening our entitlement programs we can effectively reduce our deficits using a comprehensive and balanced approach and achieve long-term fiscal sustainability.