WASHINGTON, D.C. —
President Obama recently released his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. While Congress ultimately has jurisdiction over drafting the budget and appropriating funding, the president’s budget serves as a blueprint and sets his administration’s agenda for the upcoming year. Sadly, the president has offered a plan to Congress that adds to our mounting debt, hikes taxes and makes indiscriminate cuts to our national defense.
Currently, our national debt stands at more than $17.4 trillion, and the president is requesting to add $8.3 trillion to this number during the next 10 years. Cumulative deficits would amount to $5 trillion, and the total federal debt would climb to $25 trillion by 2024. This rate of increased spending is alarming, and the president has chosen to ignore the fact that our country cannot continue down this reckless path. In addition, his budget fails to ever balance. Daily, Americans are finding ways to balance their checkbooks and live within their means, however, the president can’t seem to put forth a plan that accomplishes the same goal.
In order to pay for the negligent spending proposed in the White House budget, the president wants to increase taxes on hard working Americans. Under his proposal, another $1.8 trillion in taxes would be added to the $1.7 trillion he’s already imposed. I don’t know if the president will ever realize our country has a spending problem — not a revenue problem. As many Americans continue to struggle through the weak economy, this additional tax burden is the last thing they need. I remain committed to working with my House colleagues to simplify the tax code to make the system more efficient, and the president should follow our lead.
To make matters worse, the president’s budget request includes harmful cuts to our Department of Defense (DoD), neglecting one of his primary constitutional responsibilities as Commander in Chief. Even though the DoD already has shouldered a disproportionate share of the arbitrary cuts caused by sequestration, the president has chosen to compound these detrimental effects by shrinking our military to its lowest levels since WWII and reducing the benefits of its members. The president’s budget ignores many of the complexities of today’s challenging security environment, and in doing so places our national defense second to his domestic policy agenda.
Americans deserve better than what was proposed in the White House budget. The president must realize a major change in the trajectory of federal spending is needed to create certainty for Americans and future generations. The constituents of the Third District and many others across the country have been asking for this type of change for a long time, and it is crucial that we compel the president to provide a plan that helps get our fiscal house in order. Looking forward, I will continue working with my colleagues to reduce federal spending, create jobs and provide certainty for the American people.
REP. FRANK LUCAS represents Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District. He may be reached by calling his Yukon office at 373-1958 or his Washington, D.C., office at 202-225-5565.