Bad budget deal for Americans

By: U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson - Contributing columnist

Every day, families across the country work hard, set priorities and live within their means. Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., our hard-earned tax dollars are frivolously spent with little-to-no accountability or oversight. The disconnect is astounding. We hear politicians who say they’re outraged because families are struggling with smaller paychecks and bigger bills. They talk all the time about getting our economy back on track by reining in spending, but they don’t do it. Unfortunately, this kick-the-can-down-the-road, big-spending mentality has plunged our country into enormous debt.

Just last week, the House passed a 144-page debt-ceiling increase and budget deal that doesn’t just fail to address the real drivers of our debt, it digs us deeper in the hole. This backroom budget agreement was negotiated in secret and presented to the American people in the 11th hour under the veil of bipartisanship and compromise. Look, I’ve worked with folks on both sides of the aisle to find solutions, so I understand it must be done with compromise. But this deal is no compromise at all. By suspending our federal government’s borrowing limit through 2017, tacking on $1.5 trillion to the national debt, and spending $80 billion more of our tax dollars over the next two years alone, this deal is surrender and I don’t support it.

It doesn’t surprise me that this bill was full of the same Washington math we’ve seen time and time again. The deal busts the spending caps enacted in 2011 and unravels progress made to get spending under control. It also uses the old Washington gimmick of saying, “we’ll spend more now and save later … in 2025.” As we all know too well, those savings never actually happen.

Further, one of the budget gimmicks could be devastating to our agriculture community and consumers. By cutting $3 billion from the critical crop insurance program, the deal would create a mountain of uncertainty for our farmers. This doesn’t take into account that in 2014, the Farm Bill reformed crop insurance to save tax dollars, and farmers are still adjusting to the changes.

Instead of making meaningful reforms that turn the tide of reckless spending, this bill suspends the debt limit through 2017. In this time, our current debt will skyrocket to at least $19.6 trillion. I agree we need to pay our bills, but raising the debt limit without fundamentally reforming government and addressing the events that brought us to the risk of default isn’t paying our bills — it’s asking foreign countries to pay them for us. Taking out more loans and ignoring the root of the problem isn’t avoiding default, it’s simply delaying it. I stand by my word that I won’t support a debt-ceiling increase without spending cuts or substantial, cost-saving reforms.

While all the talk about budgets, debt and default may seem complicated, it all boils down to one simple point: Our country owes more than $18.4 trillion and this bill doesn’t present a practical plan to pay for it. Instead of advancing real solutions, this bill just borrows more money from China by writing blank checks on the backs of future generations. This deal gambles with our children’s future to pay for the government’s irresponsibility, and I do not support it. As your representative, I’ll continue to fight to cut spending and secure a future for our children that doesn’t leave them buried in debt.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson

Contributing columnist

Richard Hudson, a Republican from Concord, represents the 8th District in the U.S. House, which includes Scotland County.

Richard Hudson, a Republican from Concord, represents the 8th District in the U.S. House, which includes Scotland County.