Obama budget misses the mark

First Posted: 4/15/2013

While I was growing up, my parents taught me the importance of budgeting. I learned that the easiest way to live within my means was to construct a plan outlining how much I was going to spend on expenses and how much I would have left over to save or use at my personal discretion. Families and businesses all over America follow this simple budget outline every year, drawing up budgets that project their expected outlays. This is the simplest way to make sure that a home or businesses’ finances balance. When one is seriously in debt, as America is at present, a budget becomes even more important; every dollar and every cent matters.

This past week, President Obama introduced his federal budget. I’d have thought that President Obama would be aware of the urgency of our fiscal situation. Unfortunately, according to what he has proposed, it is obvious he favors a kick-the-can-down-the-road, business-as-usual approach. Not only was the president’s budget over two months late, but it’s straight out of a time warp — better suited to fit the 1960s’ big-government era. Never has America seen a fiscal plan so mismatched for the times.

Three key points stood out to me as read through the president’s budget:

— First, the president’s budget never balances. Ever.

— Second, and even worse, it increases the national debt by $8.2 trillion. Written in full, we are talking about $8,200,000,000,000. This is particularly staggering given the fact that we have almost $17 trillion in debt already. Under the president’s budget, debt increases per-household to $60,980.

— Third, the president’s budget increases taxes by $1.1 trillion — coming on top of $1 trillion in taxes from Obamacare and more than $600 billion from the president’s recent tax hike. These figures are so incomprehensibly large that I can’t help but wonder whether the president understands the reality of what he is proposing.

For the millions of job seekers, the households that can’t pay their bills, and the businesses straining under the weight of regulations, the president’s budget plan is a missed opportunity to turn our fiscal crisis around. He should be focused solely on advancing measures that reduce spending and create jobs. While the president has continued to miss the mark on both these fronts, I am working hard on your behalf to achieve these goals.

This past week, the Transportation Security Subcommittee, which I chair, held a hearing on TSA’s efforts to implement risk-based security measures while cutting unnecessary and wasteful government spending. Implementing risk-based security measures tasks our transportation security officials with focusing their time and resources on targeting those most likely to do harm to our citizens, while simultaneously saving money and ensuring they have the most effective screening systems in place.

As your federally elected official, I represent 750,000 potential fliers. Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the largest airport serving our community, saw more than 41 million travelers in 2012. Helping to facilitate air travel in a safer, easier way benefits everyone. Whether it is a business transporting freight, families taking a vacation, a salesperson traveling for work, or grandma trying to visit for the holidays, the degree of ease at which travelers can pass through security checkpoints translates into more frequent trips and increased tourism, ultimately leading to more dollars invested in our local economy.

Much like the approach our subcommittee is taking with TSA, I believe we must start tackling our debt crisis by finding inefficiencies in all government agencies and start identifying tangible cost savings and opportunities to create jobs. You elected me to rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending so we can leave a better future for our children and grandchildren. I’ll continue to work hard on your behalf to ensure America remains the greatest and most prosperous nation on earth.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson represents the 8th Congressional District. He can be reached at 704-786-1612.