I'm wading into the budget debate

Senator Tom Carper
2013-03-14 13:38:13
Carper's Connection We can't govern from crisis to crisis March 14, 2013 Dear friend, For the past few months, leaders in Washington have lurched from one self-imposed disaster to the next. This week, as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I held a hearing looking at this kind of “crisis governing,” and guess what I found: that budgeting like this hurts the economy, costs the government money and, perhaps worst of all, erodes the faith Americans have that their leaders can solve problems and get things done. Simply put, we can’t continue governing from crisis to crisis. Thankfully, this week, Republicans and Democrats released their proposed, long-term budgets for the federal government. It reminded me of something our Vice President and my former senior Senator Joe Biden used to say: “Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” I hope that this process not only reveals what we value but that it yields some real fruit. Now that we have two starting points, both sides need to sit down with their plans, compromise and produce a comprehensive, balanced plan that does three things: Raises revenues to the levels we had when we saw four balanced budgets in a row in the late 1990s, in addition to eliminating costly tax loopholes and expenditures; Reduces spending and reforms entitlements in ways that don’t savage old people or poor people and protects “the least of these” in our society; and, Finds ways to get better results for less money in every corner of the federal government, in every program, in every agency. If we do those three things, we can get our country back on the right fiscal track. If we don’t, we’ll see continued political battles that spawn crisis after crisis. That’s not good government. Over the next week or so, we’ll see what transpires – as Congress debates a budget and we finalize a spending bill to fund the government for the rest of this fiscal year. I’m hopeful that, as Einstein said, “In adversity lies opportunity.” Together, we can seize the day and show Delawareans and all Americans that we’re ready to get this done. Follow me on Twitter at @SenatorCarper and like my Facebook page to hear more about how we can clean up our fiscal mess. I’ll continue pushing our leaders – Republican and Democrat, in Congress and in the White House – to compromise and forge a balanced plan to reduce our deficit. I hope you’ll join me. U.S. Senator Tom Carper
We can't govern from crisis to crisis

March 14, 2013

Dear friend,

Nearly every night, when I return home to Delaware on the train from Washington, I hear from at least one constituent who asks me, “Why can’t Congress get its act together?” In Delaware, we’re used to leaders working together, setting priorities and solving problems to improve our state. But over the  past few months, leaders in Washington have done anything but that. We’ve lurched from one self-imposed fiscal disaster to the next. This week, as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and here's what I found: this kind of budgeting hurts the economy, costs the government money and, perhaps worst of all, erodes the faith Americans have that their leaders can solve problems and get things done. Simply put, we can’t continue governing from crisis to crisis.

Thankfully, this week, Republicans and Democrats released their proposed, long-term budgets for the federal government. It reminded me of something our Vice President and Delaware’s former senior Senator Joe Biden used to say: “Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” I hope that this process not only reveals what we value but that it yields some real fruit. Now that we have two starting points, both sides need to sit down with their plans, compromise and produce a comprehensive, balanced plan that does three things:

  • Raises revenues to the levels we had when we saw four balanced budgets in a row in the late 1990s, in addition to eliminating costly tax loopholes and expenditures;
  • Reduces spending and reforms entitlements in ways that don’t savage old people or poor people and protects “the least of these” in our society; and,
  • Finds ways to get better results for less money in every corner of the federal government, in every program, in every agency.

If we do those three things, we can get our country back on the right fiscal track and end the haphazard budgeting that has already begun to negatively impact Delaware. If we don’t, we’ll see continued political battles that spawn crisis after crisis. That’s not good government.

Over the next week or so, we’ll see what transpires – as Congress debates a budget and we finalize a spending bill to fund the government for the rest of this fiscal year. Albert Einstein once said, “In adversity lies opportunity,” and I hope this proves true in the coming days. Together, we can seize the day and show Delawareans and all Americans that we’re ready to get this done.

Follow me on Twitter at and to hear more and share your ideas about how we can clean up our fiscal mess. I’ll continue pushing our leaders – Republican and Democrat, in Congress and in the White House – to compromise and forge a balanced plan to reduce our deficit. I hope you’ll join me.


U.S. Senator Tom Carper

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Senator Tom Carper
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