Partial Government Shutdown May Be Needed To Restore Fiscal
'It May be
Necessary to Partially Shut Down the Government in Order to Secure the
Long-Term Fiscal Well Being of Our Country'
The following op-ed first appeared in the
Texans would have been hit with the biggest tax increase in the
history of our country if Congress failed to act on the American Taxpayer
Relief Act in the early hours of 2013. The question I faced was,
"Would Texans be better off with a massive tax increase?" In good
conscience, I could not allow this to take place. I don't believe
Washington needs more money; I believe Texans should keep more of
their hard-earned dollars, which is why I voted for the act. This bill,
while admittedly not perfect, makes tax cuts permanent for nearly all
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the fiscal
cliff ordeal was that President Obama engaged in the same type of
brinksmanship that has become his hallmark. For the fourth time in two
years, he stalled and delayed on critical fiscal policy actions.
In December 2010, it was the two-year extension of the 2001
and 2003 tax cuts. In the spring of 2011, a government shutdown was
narrowly averted by a midnight vote on Capitol Hill. The following
summer brought us to the brink once more when the president walked away
from the negotiating table on a deal surrounding the debt ceiling. And,
of course, Congress rang in the new year with a last-minute escape from
the largest tax increase in American history.
every instance, the looming deadline for action has been obvious. And in
every instance, the White House has purposefully slow-walked the
process in a shameless attempt to score cheap political points.
The result has been a series of manufactured crises that have
brought the country to the brink of economic catastrophe. This is a
terrible, acrimonious way of doing business. It diminishes global
confidence in the United States, and it is a disservice to the American
people. Simply put, this must change.
Over the next few
months, we will reach deadlines related to the debt ceiling, the
sequester and the continuing appropriations resolution that has funded federal
operations since October. If history is any guide, President Obama
won't see fit to engage congressional Republicans until the 11th
hour. In fact, he has already signaled an unwillingness to negotiate over
the debt ceiling. This is unacceptable. The president should
immediately put forward a plan that addresses these deadlines, and he should
launch serious, transparent budget negotiations.
biggest fiscal problem in Washington is excessive spending, not
insufficient taxation. Tax cuts didn't cause this problem, so tax
increases won't solve it. If we don't reduce spending and reform our
three biggest entitlement programs - Medicare, Medicaid and Social
Security - then we will strangle economic growth, destroy jobs and reduce
our standard of living. With the national debt above $16 trillion,
and with more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities hanging over
us, our toughest fiscal decisions cannot be postponed any longer.
Republicans are more determined than ever to implement the
spending cuts and structural entitlement reforms that are needed to
secure the long-term fiscal integrity of our country.
The coming deadlines will be the next flashpoints in our ongoing fight
to bring fiscal sanity to Washington. It may be necessary to partially
shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well
being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece,
Italy and Spain. President Obama needs to take note of this reality and
put forward a plan to avoid it immediately.