Our nation is in serious financial trouble and unless we change course, every penny collected of the federal budget will be consumed by interest on the debt and our nation’s entitlement programs by 2030. That means there will be no money for defense, no money for roads and no money for important medical research to find cures for cancer, ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis or autism.
For more than seven years, I have forcefully spoken out about the need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order. I am committed to – and repeatedly have been making – the hard choices. I have supported every serious effort to deal with this issue, including the House-passed Ryan Budget, the Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of Six” effort, the House-passed “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill, a balanced budget amendment to the constitution and the Budget Control Act, which cut spending in a deal that prevented a default on our debt and created the failed deficit reduction supercommittee.
In 2012, I was one of only 38 members of the House to vote to implement the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, more commonly referred to as the Simpson-Bowles Commission. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was based in part on legislation I authored: the SAFE Commission.
In February of 2013,I cosponsored a bipartisan amendment to legislation calling on the president to use the Simpson-Bowles framework when submitting a budget proposal. It garnered 75 votes.
As chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations subcommittee, I have reduced the total amount of the CJS bill, which is discretionary spending, by more than $12 billion since Republicans took back control of the House in January of 2011.
Video: Rep. Wolf Statement in Support of Amendment to make Simpson-Bowles basis of the president's budget.
Support for Amendment
However, we can't balance the budget through discretionary cuts alone. We have to address the spiraling costs of entitlements, because, to paraphrase the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton, that's where the money is. We need comprehensive tax reform to rid our tax code of loopholes and earmarks. Unlike an earmark in an annual spending bill, “tax earmarks” are far worse because they continue indefinitely, piling up as special interest lobbies succeed in getting more special treatment for their clients. Consider this sampling of the groups that get tax breaks: ethanol producers; tackle box makers; hedge fund managers; NASCAR, and dog and horse tracks.
I am ready to reform our nation’s entitlement programs. I am ready to close tax loopholes and put an end to tax earmarks that cost billions of dollars every year. I am ready to simplify the tax code and lower tax rates for all. I refuse to be constrained by partisan politics and personalities that stymie every viable solution. I do not sign pledges to lobbyists or answer to special interests. Click here to view and read my floor statement on Grover Norquist. My pledge is to the people of the 10th District of Virginia and my interest is in doing what is best for the country.
I recently received a letter from a mother in South Riding. She said she had just had a conversation with her son, an 8th-grader, about the financial crisis facing our country and told him life will no longer be as we know it if we don’t change course. She closed her letter by writing “Right now American lawmakers can decide the fate of our country. One day, however, it will not be our decision to make. Make the decision now while it is still ours to make.”
She is right. We cannot wait any longer. The future of “this shining city on a hill” is at stake.