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Keeping America Strong

Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2011, at 11:44 AM

Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Frog Jump)

August 12, 2011

Our economy this week has suffered a series of ups and downs, including the devastating news that Standard and Poor's Credit Agency downgraded the credit rating of the United States for the first time in our history. Over the past 40 years, politicians in both parties have been spending money our nation doesn't have and expanding federal programs. America is $14.2 trillion in debt with no long-term plan in place to pay it off. With 40 cents of every tax dollar going to pay for interest on our national debt, it is critical we get Washington spending under control.

In order to earn back an AAA credit rating, we must continue efforts to cut federal spending and significantly reduce our deficit. Congress must also consider reforming mandatory spending programs. There are no simple, easy answers. We must evaluate every federal program, identify our priorities, and reduce costs where necessary.

Over the past several months, the Republicans in the House of Representatives have demonstrated they are serious about reforming Washington spending habits. We passed a budget to address reducing our deficit for the long term and we have put forth a jobs plan outlining a path to encourage growth and job creation. Unfortunately, the liberal-led Senate and the Obama Administration refuse to do the same and instead, wasted valuable time criticizing other proposals.

It has been over 800 days since the Senate last past a budget. President Obama has failed to lead or offer any details to address the economy or job creation. His own spokesperson has even addressed the lack of leadership coming from President Obama on the economy saying, the President "will be contributing to that process, not driving it or directing it." As Americans continue searching for work and struggling to put food on the table, it's important that we continue to ask: Where is your plan Mr. President?

Our recent credit downgrade has made it crystal clear that business as usual in Washington is no longer acceptable. It is imperative we cut spending and reduce our debt now. I believe like many Americans, that we must make further cuts to the federal budget to address the real issues that are crippling our nation's economic future. I suggest the President get off the golf course and join House Republicans as we fight to move our country forward and create a better future for our children and grandchildren.

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Congressman Stephen Fincher
Stephen Fincher
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Stephen Fincher is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 8th congressional district.
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