|Numbers and Sense
Last week, I introduced the Debt and Taxation Transparency Act. For too long, the federal government has not been honest with the American people about its out of control spending and how deficit spending impacts them.
This legislation would require the federal government to provide a Taxpayer Financial Statement that includes three things:
Washington doesn't have a tax problem, it has a spending problem. Even though our current spending trajectory is not sustainable, some in Washington refuse to acknowledge the problem even exists.
- A calculation of the taxpayer’s share of the federal government’s debt.
- A 30-year projection of the increase in federal income tax rates necessary to entirely finance the current fiscal path of the federal government, without running a deficit.
- A summary of the most recent Financial Report of the U.S. government.
This legislation will provide valuable information directly to the American people about how serious the spending problem is and why we need to get it under control. You can read the National Debt and Taxation Transparency Act here.
Protecting Our Troops, Holding FPI Accountable
A report from the Department of Justice revealed that Federal Prison Industries (FPI), which is owned by the federal government and operates using prison labor, manufactured faulty military helmets for both the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps. The helmets failed to meet safety specifications and would have failed to properly protect our soldiers from enemy fire.
Making matters worse, FPI employees, who are federal government employees, instructed the inmates to cut corners in the manufacturing of these helmets as well as falsify documents saying the faulty helmets met all of the required specifications.
I spoke on the House floor about the importance of making sure our troops have the best American made equipment available and why I believe that means making sure FPI competes with the private sector. That is why I have introduced the Small Business Protection Act that will end FPI's special exemptions from competition and no longer allow them to apply for contracts reserved for the backbone of our nation's economy - small business.
To watch my floor speech, click on the picture above. To learn more about my effort to challenge Washington's use of prison labor against law-abiding citizens, click here.
Monetary Policy, Economic Growth, and Job Creation
Sound monetary policy facilitates economic growth and job creation. The "new normal" of 2% economic growth is not acceptable. In order to grow the economy, we need a monetary policy that encourages economic opportunity for all Americans.
I recently appeared on Fox News' "Special Report with Bret Baier" to discuss the importance of having increased transparency and accountability at the Federal Reserve and why the Fed will continue to be a topic of debate. To watch the interview, click the picture below.
Wall Street has done just fine under the Obama Administration, what I am concerned about are the people on Main Street. Having an open and transparent Fed that clearly communicates its monetary policy decisions is vital to our economy and critical to ensuring all Americans have access to opportunity.
- Diving Deeper: Earlier this month, CNBC.com published my op-ed warning of a behind the scenes attempt by Democrats to takeover the Federal Reserve using a little discussed provision buried within Dodd-Frank. This misguided effort makes it even more important to enact the FORM Act, my legislation to make the Fed more open and transparent in how it conducts policymaking.
Over the past few months, I have written into the Lake County Star, The Times Indicator in Newaygo County, and the Zeeland Record in Ottawa County to discuss the House Republican plan to change how the federal government combats poverty. This plan is part of the House Republican agenda for a better way for America in the 21st century.
For years the federal government has pumped billions upon billions into government programs that are well meaning but are often times bloated and duplicative. We can no longer measure the success of programs to reduce poverty by the amount of taxpayer dollars we spend on these programs - that is the definition of big government. We need an evidence-based approach so we can see what programs are effective, which ones need to be retooled, and which programs need to be eliminated because they aren't helping the people they were designed to help.
Here are the core ideas House Republicans are using to combat poverty:
The entire Better Way Plan is available online, and I hope you will take a moment to see how I am working to increase opportunity for everyone in West Michigan.
Responsible Governance Means Rejecting Crony Capitalism
Before October 1st, an agreement to fund the government must be reached. How did we get here? The House attempted to pass the 12 appropriations bills necessary to fully fund the government, however, political issues spearheaded by Democrats in both the House as well as the Senate derailed this process. Now discussions have moved toward passing what is known as a another continuing resolution or CR. While a CR is required to keep the government funded that doesn't mean it needs to be a Christmas tree full of political favors.
The Michigan Minute
Some in Washington are pushing for a rules change to the Export-Import Bank to be included in the CR. This rule change would eliminate the need for a quorum of the Ex-Im Board to approve transactions over $10 million and grant total control to the President of Ex-Im. I discussed how I believe this is not only the wrong policy decision but completely inappropriate with the Daily Signal last Thursday.