By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Representative Jo Bonner (R) from Mobile in his weekly column discussed the debt crisis and the difficulty that Republicans are having dealing with President Obama on the debt and hints that he might support a government shutdown over the approaching debt ceiling to attempt to force the President to reign in out of control government spending.
Rep. Bonner said, “President Obama remains absolutely opposed to working with conservatives in Congress to address the country’s most pressing problem – the crippling debt.”
Rep. Bonner continued, “Last week, I was sworn in as your representative to the 113th Congress. I am honored and humbled by the trust and expectations that you place in me to work on your behalf as the nation faces some of the toughest decisions in recent history. Unfortunately, the New Year’s Day drama over the fiscal cliff is likely to set the tone for the new Congress as equally serious decisions must be made in the coming months over deep cuts in defense and other government programs as well as the debt ceiling.”
The Mobile Congressman said, “To illustrate the policy gulf that separates President Obama and the Republican Congress going into more negotiations over the country’s financial health, The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the president still refuses to budge from his quest to expand our already bloated federal government. In a recent interview, Speaker Boehner confided that during face-to-face negotiations, President Obama proclaimed, “We don’t have a spending problem.””
Rep. Bonner said, “For each of the four years he has been president, Mr. Obama has presided over annual budget deficits exceeding $1 trillion and his first term of office has seen our national debt increase to a record $16 trillion.” “Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lamented that the recent fiscal cliff deal did not raise taxes enough. Even if taxes are raised on all Americans, it would not fully address the enormity of the debt our country faces due to years of overspending, which have been made worse by Mr. Obama’s failed stimulus spending and his expansion of government, including Obamacare.”
Rep. Bonner concluded, “Tax hikes will do little to stem the tidal wave of debt that is cresting over our land. Going forward, House Republicans are demanding substantial and sustained spending cuts, and reforms to mandatory spending to protect Social Security and Medicare. I opposed the fiscal cliff deal because it raised taxes and did not cut one penny in federal spending. I will continue to oppose any agreement that does not address the root cause of our government’s historic debt – rampant overspending. If doing so makes Congress less popular than the plague, that is a small price to pay for the futures of our children and grandchildren.”
The U.S. National Debt is at $16,449 billion and according to www.usdebtclock.org has already breached the debt ceiling by $29.5 billion. Despite the mammoth tax hike that was passed with the fiscal cliff deal, if current trends continue the national debt will be $22,501 billion in just four years. In coming weeks Congress has to vote to increase the debt limit and has to decide how to deal with automatic sequestration cuts that hit defense and non defense spending. Some Republicans are suggesting shutting down the government to force President Obama to make concessions on spending. In 2004 (despite wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) federal spending was only $2,165 billion to $1,786 billion in federal tax revenues with a $7,021 billion national debt. Today spending has ballooned to $3,541 billion while tax revenues are just $2,468 billion.