Sen. Ron Johnson: Comments on the Fiscal Cliff Vote
Sen. Ron Johnson is Wisconsin's Republican senator in Washington, D.C. This commentary is taken from his weekly e-newsletter to constituents.
Although I strongly prefer extension of current tax rates for all Americans, I supported the compromise bill that protects 99% of Wisconsinites from an income tax increase, limits the death tax, and prevents a dramatic increase in milk prices. It is by no means a perfect piece of legislation.
The revenue raised by this legislation will equal approximately 7% of projected deficits. It is now time for President Obama and his Democrat colleagues to show the American public their plan to close the other 93% of the deficit.
Our nation's debt now stands at $16.4 trillion, and has reached its statutory limit. We blew through the $2.1 trillion increase in the debt ceiling granted in August 2011 in only 17 months. This is clearly unsustainable, and President Obama must begin to work with Congress to reduce the size, scope, and cost of government.
We are mortgaging our children's future. This is immoral and it must stop.
Johnson Calls for Spending Reductions
President Obama got what he demanded, a tax increase on the job-creating sector of America's economy – ‘the rich.’ It will harm economic growth, hinder new job creation and, at most, reduce our annual deficit by about 5%.
President Obama then left town with 95% of the deficits still unresolved. Treasury Secretary Geithner issued a statement on December 31st that the nation had already gone over the debt ceiling cliff - $16.4 trillion. President Obama blew through the most recent $2.1 trillion debt ceiling in only 17 months. This fiscal path is clearly unsustainable.
Now is not the time to declare victory and go on vacation. Now it is time for President Obama and Democrats in the Senate to show the American people their plans to save Social Security and Medicare, and to address the remaining 95% of our annual deficit which is projected to exceed $1 trillion for the fifth year in a row. This U.S. Senator will not vote to increase the debt unless serious spending reductions are part of the package.
President Obama and Harry Reid got their tax increase. Where is their so-called balance? Where is their spending reduction plan? The clock is ticking towards a debt ceiling bubble that will explode in just a few weeks.