As many of you know, since being sworn in I have been committed to seeking bipartisan solutions to the serious debt and deficit problems facing our nation.
Only by working together will we be able to restore fiscal sanity to Washington. The problems facing American families and businesses show no bias based on political party and as such the road to real solutions must also be unbiased.
The focus of my time in DC, representing Arizona’s First District, has been the pursuit of a dialogue that brings as many people to the table as possible. I’ve hosted over 20 town halls and six tele-town halls repeatedly stressing at each one that we have to take a fresh look at all the tough problems we face and leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding answers.
Consistent with this philosophy I signed a letter, along with 99 other members of Congress from both parties, encouraging the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction to in fact do as I have urged for some time — put everything on the table.
My hope is that priority will be given to spending cuts. There can be no program, project or agency which is not subject to scrutiny for the availability of potential cuts or cost savings. It is time your representatives demand responsible behavior in Washington. Those within the DC beltway have developed a serious problem and it is your money they are taking and spending with reckless abandon.
The Washington establishment continues to believe they do not have to balance a checkbook and spend within their means like the average American. Families and businesses have adapted in this tough economy to live within their means — DC must do the same.
Another reality we have to face is that we have a tax problem. The current tax code is unfair, incomprehensible and in dire need of reform. When I signed onto the letter calling for everything to be on the table this includes comprehensive tax reform.
All Americans will benefit from simplified and clearer tax policy. Your taxes should not take an army of accountants and lawyers to understand. I urge the Joint Committee to consider options that will re-evaluate the way business is done by our federal government in the assessment and use of taxes.
I cannot stress enough that I do not, and will not, support a tax increase for hard-working Americans. It is evident that America has a fiscal crisis because Washington spends too much, not because it taxes too little. More taxes are not the solution to any of the problems we are facing as a nation. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, tax revenues will reach or exceed the historical average of 18 percent of economic output by the end of this decade, even as spending continues to increase at an unsustainable rate.
The real way to raise revenues is to facilitate a economic environment that will spur job growth. Increasing taxes working Americans would destroy jobs, erase hope of an economic recovery, and simply serve to feed out-of-control spending in Washington. I was sent to DC, as an outsider, a father, a dentist, and a small businessman. I was sent to be a problem solver. I was sent to DC to make the difficult decisions that my predecessors did not make, which led to this problem. I have urged the deficit commission to do just that. The American people are counting on us to come up with real solutions.