Bryan Smith: Rep. Mike Simpson not getting the job done

December 19, 2013 

This past week politicians in Washington showed the American people once again they do not want to truly tackle our nation’s fiscal problems when they voted for the latest bipartisan budget deal.

Idaho individuals, families, and business owners know what it means to buckle down when times are tough. We know what it means to cut spending in our own lives when we have to. As a business owner, I know what it means to balance a budget and make cuts when they are needed to sustain my business. The American people and the citizens of Idaho expect their representatives in Washington to make the same responsible budget decisions that we make everyday in our own lives.

Last week the Republican-controlled house voted for a budget deal orchestrated by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. The budget increases federal discretionary spending to over a trillion dollars from the $967 billion spent in 2013 and reduces sequestration-spending cuts with no additional substantial cuts in spending in the immediate future.

The budget cuts military veterans pensions. Out of all the wasteful federal government departments, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, chose to apply cuts on our nation’s veterans and at the same time increase spending on the promise of long term spending cuts that rarely materialize. This is not an effective way to lead.

The solutions to our problems are not easy and the mess of the last 30 years won’t be fixed overnight, but when you dig yourself into a hole, I know the first thing you do is stop digging. We have dug ourselves into a financial hole. So the first thing we need to do is stop spending.

The Ryan-Murray budget does not address our nation’s spending problem, and for that reason I opposed it.

Unfortunately, Congressman Simpson did the opposite. He voted for it and will argue that the budget cuts the deficit when, in fact, the new budget increases federal spending over $62 billion over the next two years.

Rep. Simpson said in a Dec. 12 press release that the new budget “replaces sequestration’s arbitrary, across the board cuts with more rational deficit reduction.” The rational deficit reduction that the congressman speaks of does not occur until fiscal year 2017, if ever. This is yet another example of Rep. Simpson and the career politicians in Washington pushing the burden of tackling our nation’s deficit problems further down the road onto our children and grandchildren.

My opposition to the budget deal does not mean that I do not want to fund government. Of course I want to fund the government. But we need to pass a responsible budget to get our nation’s fiscal house in order.

Our country’s fiscal problems are real and we need to start tackling them now. The lack of courage in Washington to fight to curb spending and truly cut our deficit is what will keep our country on the unsustainable financial path that we are on. Idaho taxpayers deserve better.

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