Another Unbalanced Budget, Protecting Your Identity, and Reining in Executive Overreach

Mar 11, 2014 Issues: Government Accountability, Economy and Jobs, Regulations, Fiscal Responsibility
Federal Regulations Since 2011
Federal Regulations Since 2011

Another Unbalanced Budget

Last week, the President released his budget proposal for FY 2015.  I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that it is an incredibly partisan proposal with no basis in current political or economic reality. Just two months ago, the President signed a compromise spending agreement into law that would spend $1.014 trillion in the next fiscal year.  But the budget he released on Monday would increase spending by $56 billion above that agreement.  I didn't support that deal because of spending increases—I certainly don't support an additional $56 billion.  

All told, his budget will increase spending by 63% over the next ten years. That translates to another $8 trillion that would be added to our debt in the next decade.  We’re already struggling to bear the weight of our $17 trillion debt—how does the President think that we will hold up under $25 trillion in obligations in 2024?  Of course, this budget never balances either.  But what I find most troubling is that this President—who has already increased taxes on Americans by $1.7 trillion—is proposing to collect another $1.8 trillion in new taxes.  And instead of using all of that revenue for deficit reduction, about half of those tax hikes would fund more spending. 

I want our grandkids to grow up in a prosperous country where they can pursue their dreams.  I worry every day about whether they’ll have the same opportunities I had, or if our country’s reckless spending will squeeze our economy and force them to pay for this generation’s errors.  That’s not fair to them, and it’s not a responsible way to govern.  That’s why reining in spending and making the government accountable to you is one of my top priorities.  Visit my website to learn more about my work to get our spending under control.

Protecting Your Identity Online

Last week was National Consumer Protection Week, and it’s an important reminder to get informed about how to avoid scams, maximize your online security, and protect your identity.  Social media and cell phones make it easier than ever before for thieves to take advantage of you, so this issue is becoming more important every day.  In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 16.6 million people—or roughly 7 percent of Americans 16 and older—were victims of identity theft in 2012 alone.  I’ve created a page on my website that lists a variety of resources you can use to keep yourself safe.  Check it out here.

Seniors adjusting to the latest technology can be vulnerable to scams and phishing schemes, where they are persuaded to send money or personal information to a seemingly trustworthy source.  You can find information on how to avoid hackers and viruses here.  Unfortunately, it’s not just adults that are being targeted; child identity theft is a growing crime because the probability of discovery is low.  I was disturbed to learn that children are as much as 50 percent more likely than adults to be identity theft victims.  These crimes take longer to discover because most parents don’t monitor their children’s credit.  You can get information on internet safety for kids here, and learn how to protect their identity here

I encourage you to visit my website to get educated on consumer protection, and contact me if you’re interested in taking part in future town hall meetings or telephone calls with experts that can help you stay safe. Select “Consumer Protection” in the drop-down menu, and I’ll notify you about future events. 

Action Item: Reining in Executive Overreach

This week, the House will vote on a series of bills that will help ensure the executive branch isn’t overstepping its Constitutional authority.  This Presidency has been characterized by a willingness to use executive powers to significantly change the law.  In some cases, the Administration has simply chosen not to enforce existing legislation, and the Attorney General recently encouraged states to do the same on controversial issues.  While other Administrations may have issued more executive orders, none have used this tool to influence such a broad range of major policies.  I’m a proud cosponsor of the Faithful Execution of the Law Act, which requires federal officials to report to Congress whenever the Administration fails to fully enforce current law.