In the first Weekly Republican Address since the new Congress has convened, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) discusses cutting spending and fixing our tax code as a way to bolster our lackluster economy. The full transcript is available below the fold, or you can listen to it or watch it.
“Hello, I am Congressman Dave Camp from the Fourth District of Michigan and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
“Let me be candid. I understand the frustration so many Americans have with Washington right now. And you’re right – this government we have spends too much and wastes too much. It’s time for us to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’ to those who would tax and spend even more.
“That’s why the Republicans in Congress took critical action this week to protect hardworking taxpayers from massive tax hikes. Americans are paying more for gas, more for groceries and more for health care. The last thing they need is to pay more for Washington. That’s why we made sure the temporary tax cuts passed a decade ago were made permanent. And, let me repeat that: permanent. Now we can look forward.
“Speaker Boehner has said that ‘the American people re-elected a Republican majority … and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable for the ‘balanced’ approach he promised.’ That means cutting wasteful spending, strengthening programs like Medicare and Social Security so that they’re there when Americans need them, and creating a tax code that creates a healthy economy.
“Let’s face it: the IRS tax code is still a nightmare. It is too complex, too costly and too unfair. There is something fundamentally wrong when roughly 60 percent of hardworking taxpayers have to hire a professional just to do their taxes. You shouldn’t need an army of lawyers and accountants to understand our tax code. We need a simpler, flatter, fairer tax code that’s designed for taxpayers.
“That’s why we have to start to work on real solutions to return accountability to our tax code by eliminating special interest loopholes. I believe in a simple principle. When it comes to the tax code, everyone should play by the same rules. Your tax rate should be determined by what’s fair, not who you know in Washington.
“The simple truth is that we are in this fiscal mess because Washington takes too much of your money and then wastes it. That’s the real problem – and it needs a real solution. We have to make sure Washington is accountable for every tax dollar it spends. We have to make sure that your money is spent efficiently and effectively.
“Unfortunately, the spending problem is getting worse, not better. Under President Obama we’ve had four straight years of trillion dollar deficits. Our national debt is now over $16 trillion. We’re crushing today’s small businesses and the next generation of Americans under a mountain of debt. We’re selling their future, and our country’s financial independence, to China.
“Many of our Democrat colleagues just don’t seem to get it. Throughout the fiscal cliff discussions, the President and the Democrats who control Washington repeatedly refused to take any meaningful steps to make Washington live within its means. That position is irresponsible and fails to acknowledge what every family in America already knows – when you have no more money in your account and your credit cards are maxed out, then the spending must stop.
“Well, that is the current financial reality facing America. As we turn our attention toward future discussions on the debt limit and the budget, we must identify responsible ways to tackle Washington’s wasteful spending.
“So, as the House returns for the 113th Congress in 2013 our resolution is clear: we’re committed to making our economy stronger and healthier, and getting our spending under control by making Washington fully accountable to you, the hardworking taxpayers of America.
“We’re going to fight wasteful Washington spending and deliver the accountability you demand. And we call on the president and Congressional Democrats to join us in that fight.
“Thank you for listening. God bless you and God bless the United States of America.”