Alexander Statement on Tax Day

“We Need to Put a Straitjacket on Federal Spending”

Posted on April 15, 2011

The real problem is that Washington spends too much, not that it taxes too little.” – Lamar Alexander 

MARYVILLE – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement:

“On Wednesday, the president gave a big speech about the debt, but I’m afraid he is missing the big picture: the real problem is that Washington spends too much, not that it taxes too little.

“It is time for Washington to stop spending money it doesn’t have, and start making the tough spending decisions that every American has had to make.

“Here’s how I propose to do it:

“First, we need to balance the budget. I have joined every single Republican senator in cosponsoring a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which would force the President and Congress to balance the federal government’s budget the same way American families do.

“Second, we need to put a straightjacket on federal spending, and one way to do that is to force the government to reduce its spending down to the historical average. I’m cosponsoring a plan offered by Senator Corker to decrease our spending from 25 percent of GDP to 20 percent over the next 10 years, and save $5 trillion in the process.

“Third, we need to ban all new entitlement programs. Entitlements have grown to 57 percent of the budget and they’re breaking the bank. We must start by repealing the entire health care law now, top to bottom, because it creates new entitlements and expands a system that everybody knows already costs too much.

“Fourth, we must stop Washington politicians from putting into law their big ideas and sending the bill to state and local taxpayers. We should do that by banning all new unfunded mandates to the states.

“One week ago today, government was on the verge of a shutdown because the Democrats who control both the Senate and White House didn’t want to cut spending. It is unfortunate that the President and Congressional Democrats refused to agree to bigger cuts that truly changed course on spending, but Republicans did succeed in getting Congress and the President to cut billions in spending this year. That is an important first step. Now we must turn all our attention to cutting trillions in spending over the next 60 years.

“Our challenge is this: Stop a runaway federal government that has strayed from its limited constitutional role and given us big regulations and bad policies that squash small businesses and throw a big, wet blanket on job creation.

“We’ve got to stop spending money we don’t have, keep taxes from going up, repeal bad regulations, find more American energy and use less of it, and start living within our means.

“We must force Washington to finally answer the question: ‘Whose grandchildren are we going to force to pay for all this spending?’”

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