Rep Gosar: Going over ‘fiscal cliff’ is the right medicine

| December 6 2012

If you are both concerned and confused about the “fiscal cliff” and looming tax increases on hardworking families, I don’t blame you.

Let me clarify a few things. President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats believe that hard work and success should be punished by additional taxes.

Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that “the power to tax is the power to destroy.” About 46 percent of the people pay no federal income taxes. A staggering number of Americans have no skin in the game. It cannot rationally be said that those who currently pay federal income taxes are not already paying “their fair share.”

Don’t be deceived — the issue before us is not taxes. The real issue is spending. President Obama wants to raise taxes (today on one group, tomorrow on another group) because he believes in a federal government that controls every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave. He knows this requires money. Your money.

My focus is on reducing spending. Some people call this a “fiscal cliff.” I call that progress.

I voted for the first real spending cuts of this magnitude since World War II. My vote put in place a 10-year discretionary-spending cap generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction that is balanced between defense and non-defense spending.

The current defense budget is $716 billion, which is more than twice as much as it was in 2002. To say that our defense budget cannot take a 7.5 percent cut, or that non-defense programs can’t take an 8.4 percent haircut, is simply not realistic. We can and will have the best military in the world. We did 10 years ago. We did three years ago. We will tomorrow. Notably, Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries, and low-income programs are not impacted.

I will not vote to increase taxes. I stand firm in my conviction that you are the best person to determine how to spend it. Between federal income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, state taxes, payroll taxes, airline and transportation taxes, cellphone taxes, utility taxes, fuel taxes, alternative minimum taxes, etc., the American people are taxed enough. It is your money, for your family.

I am not afraid to go over the overhyped fiscal cliff, and you should not be, either. Let the spending reductions take place.

This will cause some temporary pain, but in the long run, it will heal the sick patient that our nation has become. As a doctor, I know that treatment for an injury or disease can be painful.

These cuts are the cure and just what the doctor, at least this doctor, has ordered. And the nation will be stronger and healthier once the process takes place.

We have been through tough times these last four years. We finally made real progress at reducing spending. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently cried, “No, no, no. A trillion-and-a-half in cuts is a lot of money.”

She is right. It is. I am proud of that. But she is wrong in trying to stop it.

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