Deficits & Debt
I am working to implement a forward thinking plan that invests in our economic growth to create jobs. The path to real deficit reduction and a balanced budget requires sacrifices from all Americans. From reducing spending, like cutting agriculture subsidies and accelerating the drawdown in Afghanistan, to increasing revenue by closing tax loopholes for massively profitable companies and restoring tax rates on the highest earners, we can achieve our aims through shared sacrifice and bipartisan compromise.
I believe we can cut the deficit while preserving our social safety net by finally asking a little bit more from the wealthiest Americans. We shouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of the middle class. This is not class warfare, and this is not about punishing millionaires who have done well. It is about asking them to do their fair share. Even though the wealthiest Americans face nearly the lowest marginal tax rates in modern American history, so many take advantage of loopholes and shelters that a quarter of millionaires pay a lower tax rate than those in the middle-class.
Congress must still act to address the deficit. The Budget Control Act approved in August 2011 requires major automatic cuts to both defense and domestic spending at the end of this year if an alternate agreement is not reached. Both sides need to come together and agree to pursue a balanced and structured agreement. That will include a mix of spending cuts in defense and domestic spending as well as increasing revenue through fairer tax rates for the highest earners and elimination of tax subsidies to oil and gas companies and big agribusiness.
Our economy cannot afford another manufactured crisis and brinksmanship on this issue. I am going to continue to work with my colleagues to push for long-term budget certainty.
- Opposed Republican budget that would have given the Defense Department a free pass while cutting Meals on Wheels for 1.7 million seniors, cancer screenings for hundreds of thousands of women, and reducing or eliminating food stamps for nearly 50 million of the most vulnerable Americans.
- Voted for H.R. 15, which extended tax cuts for all American on the first $250,000 of their income, while ending the additional tax cuts that go exclusively to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
- Urged the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to cut $4 trillion in a bipartisan letter.
- Support ending tax payer funded subsidies for healthy industries including oil, ethanol and cotton.
- Support deficit reduction that limits government spending growth, protects our social safety net, and expands revenue collection, particularly from the richest Americans and large corporations.