By MIKE PENCE
These are difficult times in the life of our nation and our state. Unemployment is at 9.4 percent statewide, and still higher in many of the counties I represent in eastern Indiana.
I’ve seen the impact of this recession firsthand, meeting with farmers and small business owners throughout my district. They are in survival mode, making tough choices and practicing the kind of fiscal restraint necessary to get their businesses, families and farms through these tough times.
The Hoosiers I’ve met with are making sacrifices when it comes to their own budgets and want Washington to do the same.
Yet, while families all across Indiana are finding their way through this downturned economy, it’s a starkly different scene in Washington, DC.
Sadly, the budget that has been proposed by President Obama spends too much, borrows too much and taxes too much.
While Hoosiers are saving until tomorrow what they can’t spend today, Washington has continued on a reckless spending spree of bailouts and massive expansion of government programs. The president’s budget increases spending to the highest level since World War II, and one independent estimate suggests that the federal government would have to hire 250,000 new bureaucrats just to spend the money.
While Indiana is losing an average of 12,000 jobs per month, the president’s budget contains $1.9 trillion in tax increases on virtually every taxpayer, small business and family farms — including a new national energy tax that will cost up to $3,128 per household. Raising taxes, particularly on small business, during these difficult economic times is not a prescription for recovery, it is a prescription for economic decline.
While Hoosiers are working hard to preserve a secure and prosperous future, the president’s budget will add nearly $1 trillion to the national debt every year for the next 10 years for a total of $9.3 trillion. Instead of controlling spending, this Administration seems intent on spending money we don’t have and piling massive debt on our children and grandchildren.
Hoosiers deserve better, and I believe there is a better way to provide Americans with freedom and prosperity. That is why a few days ago Republicans laid out our blueprint for economic recovery that curbs spending, creates jobs, lowers taxes, controls debt and is built on principles of growth.
The “Republican Road to Recovery” is a blueprint for a substantive, comprehensive budget alternative that will be introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives this week. The Republican budget will be built on the values Hoosiers are practicing every day.
Instead of massive government spending, Republicans will seek to ensure that the federal budget cannot grow faster than family budgets. Instead of raising taxes on virtually all Hoosiers in the midst of a recession, Republicans will seek to reduce the tax burden on working families, small businesses and family farms in order to create jobs and unlock private capital. The Republican budget will keep energy and fuel costs low, end the era of bailouts and reform the financial system.
As a substantive debate about how to get our economy growing again begins to unfold, Republicans will continue to offer better solutions that are built on the time-honored principles of fiscal responsibility and growth. Let the debate begin.
Mike Pence represents Indiana’s Sixth District. He also is chairman of the House Republican Conference