It is a fitting time to remind the millions of Americans who filed their taxes that their hard-earned money does not cover the cost of Washington doing business. This is not a revenue problem; it is a spending problem.
We have become too comfortable talking about trillion-dollar deficits without thinking about what that means for the future of our country. It must stop.
Recently, Congress passed President Obama’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year. I voted against this $3.6 trillion spending plan because with it the debt of the country will grow to be more than 80 percent of gross domestic product. Our government does not come close to collecting the revenue necessary to cover the spending envisioned in this budget. To make up the difference, the government will have to borrow money from foreign countries or raise taxes on already struggling citizens.
The cap and trade plan envisioned by this spending plan will wreck family, farm and small business budgets because it will dramatically increase the costs of electricity, natural gas and fuel.
The estate tax, which was on track to be eliminated, will return and force families to sell small businesses and ranches to satisfy the IRS.
We cannot afford to bury private investment and productivity in more taxes to feed the appetite for ever increasing government spending. Now is the time to exercise discipline and get our fiscal house in order. The American people deserve it and the future of our nation depends on it.
Lucas represents Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.
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