A personal letter to Virginia’s Fourth District

Published 9:10 pm Saturday, July 30, 2011

Everywhere I go, the American people tell me they “have had enough.” They have had enough reckless spending, enough phony budget tricks and enough broken promises. The federal government is in a spending crisis, and we are walking down a path that is unsustainable. This year, the federal government will spend twice what it spent just 10 years ago, and more than 40 percent of it is borrowed money. They are tired of speeches. They just want some common sense and good judgment.

As you know, this week in Washington has been marked with many plans but little progress. We can no longer afford to continue spending money that we do not have. The reality is that we did not get into a crisis because our debt limit is too low. We got into this crisis because spending is too high. All across America, families and businesses must live within their means. The federal government must do so as well.

Leaders in Washington have a responsibility to deliver real reforms. We do not have time for budget tricks, accounting gimmicks or empty promises. It is time for real solutions. I believe that a real solution must help America dig out of our fiscal sinkhole. That solution must include cutting spending, paying our bills and balancing our budget. I support reforming the tax code to remove loopholes and inappropriate tax shelters; however, I support retaining deductions such as the child tax credit, mortgage interest deduction and deductions for Social Security. I believe such reforms are necessary to achieve a fairer, broader and more transparent tax system. I’m willing to work with any of my colleagues who are willing to work with me to further these important principles.

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I also believe our leaders need to keep promises that have been made to our nation’s seniors and to those who have served their country. That is why I have cosponsored legislation that ensures all Social Security payments will be made to senior citizens and prioritizes payments for veterans and military personnel, in the event the government reaches its debt limit and cannot meet all of its payment obligations.

It is time that we put people above politics and progress ahead of partisanship. As your representative in Congress, I am committed to reviewing every plan that is put before me in an effort to choose the path that provides common sense, real solutions to control spending and bring economic security to our nation. I appreciate the time those of you have taken to contact my office through email, letters, phone calls and personal visits to share your point of view.

Many in Washington are fighting against changing our spending system because they have too much at stake. But the simple truth is that unless we change the system, we will continue to live with its consequences. We must not let that happen.

This debate is about far more than the ability of lawmakers to compromise. It is about America creating a new system that will restore the freedom and prosperity that have always been the cornerstones of America and restore the peace of mind that has been stolen from most of our citizens.

Yours in Service,

Randy Forbes

PS: I believe that in order to restore America’s future, most Americans know that we do not need a “balanced approach,” but rather a balanced budget. I have cosponsored a bill to constitutionally require a balanced budget.

Congressman J. Randy Forbes represents Virginia’s Fourth District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Contact him at (202) 225-6365.