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News Release:(3/13/2010)
Response to Congressman Hensarling’s Remarks Upon Being Appointed to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility

Yesterday Congressman Jeb Hensarling announced his appointment by the Republican Leader John Boehner to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility set up by President Obama by Executive Order on February18th.

Within his remarks, Congressman Hensarling stated: “The President’s own budget increases spending precipitously and triples the national debt in 10 years. Thus the Commission has important work to do. However, I have concerns that the Commission’s design will limit its effectiveness.” And: “…the nation would be better served by a spending commission than a deficit commission. Deficits are the symptom, spending is the disease.”

The deficit was $1.4 trillion last year and is expected to reach $1.56 Trillion this year. That is not a [precipitous increase, nor can this be used to say with any certainty that the national debt will triple in 10 years!

Moreover, the Commission established by executive order provides that “their recommendations will require approval of 14 of the commission’s 18 members, and that ensures that any recommendations coming our of this effort and sent forward to Congress has to be bipartisan in nature.” (Note: From Remarks by the President Establishing the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, February 18, 2010)

Additionally, President Obama stated on February 18th prior to signing the Executive Order: “We've proposed budget reductions and terminations that would yield about $20 billion in savings. We're ending loopholes and tax giveaways for oil and gas companies and for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. So, taken together, these and other steps would provide more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction over the coming decade.”

The facts do not reflect a tripling of the deficit. Deficits are not a symptom. Deficits are the result of insufficient revenue to pay for what is spent. People out of work results in both less tax revenue to government, and increased spending by government to protect the social contract. Cutting spending at that point places an additional burden on everyone. Putting people back to work increases tax revenue to government without raising taxes, and reduces spending by government for people who are not working, as they are working. This also puts purchasing power in the hands of working people, who can then make purchases and drive the economy, further increasing revenue to government. It should be remembered that it is good to pay taxes, it means you are making money, and the government is getting more revenue with more people paying taxes and less people draining taxes..

Slash and burn, retrenchment, shooting in the dark, and complaining about what the President does, is not the answer. Common sense is the answer.

Tom Berry
Democratic Nominee for Congress
Texas 5th District

“We need stability, sustained growth and good high paying jobs. 
We don’t need downsizing. profit taking,  and being left in the dust" - Tom Berry

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