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Rep. Tom Cole

By U.S. Rep. Tom Cole

For several weeks, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans have made numerous calls to negotiate a reasonable and responsible deal to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a catastrophic default. 

Unfortunately, President Joe Biden has not budged on his position and refuses to come to the table to find a solution agreeable to both sides. Without a solution to address the debt limit and with just a few days left until the U.S. Treasury runs out of money, the president and Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for leading the nation into this crisis.

First, we should remember what got us into this mess in the first place. Since January 2021 when President Biden assumed office, he and House Democrats increased the 10-year spending trajectory by $10 trillion by enacting their partisan $2 trillion American Rescue Plan and another $500 billion in spending in their falsely named Inflation Reduction Act. In addition, President Biden’s unprecedented number of executive orders during his term, including his costly student loan forgiveness plan, have totaled more than $1.5 trillion.

While Republicans warned Democrats and the president that this level of spending is unsustainable, they insisted and went ahead anyway. Now, we are reaching our debt limit at a much faster pace than expected. 

I certainly understand the need to raise the debt limit. Indeed, a default would be catastrophic to the U.S. economy and individual Americans. It would result in additional increased interest rates for borrowers, the possible inability for the government to pay businesses and workers it is in contract with and would be a direct hit to individual American investments. However, this raise must be paired with commonsense reforms to slow spending in the years to come.

Instead of working with Republicans to address this nearing crisis, President Biden has instead proposed raising taxes on Americans and American businesses by roughly $3 trillion. This includes implementing a new $31 billion tax hike on American energy producers, a $230 billion tax on small businesses and a $20 billion increase in capital gains taxes. In addition, he has also proposed $200 billion in new government price controls on prescription drugs, which would result in significantly fewer life-saving drugs for deadly diseases, including those for cancers and Alzheimer’s.

Raising taxes on Americans when we already have the highest tax revenue in American history is wrong. It is not an issue of revenue, but rather spending. Republicans are proposing commonsense solutions to put our country on a more fiscally stable track by limiting certain areas of federal discretionary spending and rescinding unspent COVID-19 relief money.

For several years now, Republicans have warned Democrats that their reckless and inflationary spending would lead to economic calamity. Now, in the wake of a default that would severely harm our economy for decades to come, President Biden continues to ignore pleas to negotiate a fair solution and is instead digging his heels in even deeper to his disastrous agenda that got us into this mess in the first place.

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