Fiscal Responsibility

Fiscal Responsibility

One of the biggest challenges we face is the wide gap between what the government collects in revenues and what it spends. When President Bush took office in 2001, the federal budget was in surplus by more than $100 billion. Through a combination of two wars that he charged to the national credit card, tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, giveaways to insurance companies, and the worst recession since the Great Depression, President Bush left President Obama with a deficit of $1.4 trillion — an unprecedented deterioration in our nation’s fiscal position.

Throughout the Obama era, our economy made tremendous progress. We reduced the deficit by 70 percent. Sherrod is committed to continuing the successful policies that brought us this far and expanding on those policies to improve our economy for all American workers.

Sherrod supported the Affordable Care Act, which has expanded coverage to 20 million Americans since it passed and saved taxpayer money. He also supports returning the tax rates on the wealthiest Americans to where they were during the Clinton Administration, when our country created 23 million jobs.

Just as important as what Sherrod supports is what he does not support. Many politicians in Washington, DC have proposed that Social Security should be discussed as part of the solution to the deficit problem. Sherrod is adamantly opposed to any such proposals. Social Security is self-financed by payroll taxes — it does not add a penny to the federal budget deficit and should not be cut.

Sherrod thinks savings have to begin at home, and supports legislation to eliminate the automatic cost-of-living increases for members of Congress.

To control deficit spending in the long run, Sherrod supports a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget. Finally, Sherrod will continue to use every opportunity to find savings on legislation that comes before the Senate. Here are some examples:

  • Closing loopholes that allow companies to offshore jobs;
  • Imposing reasonable payment limits to prevent wealthy farmers from securing federal subsidies;
  • Ending special tax breaks for favored industries like Wall Street and Big Oil.
  • Ending the trillion-dollar off-balance-sheet spending from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The best approach to attacking the deficit is through economic growth. Our country needs to continue to make smart investments — in things like education, infrastructure, research, and broadband — so that we can compete in the 21st century.