Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2009

As the economic situatuion that this nation is facing becomes more intense, measures are being drawn out to consider a balance towards the current defict that this nation as a whole has acumulated.

As if the credit crunch has not been bad enough up until the point of now, congress is considering an effort to stimulate growth with an effort named the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2009. This effort is stated to bring what has been inherited by us by the Bush administration to an understanding that will allow an impact of solid revenue and help to stimulate our troubled economy.

The following is the response that I received as this assumption is being considered.

Dear Aaron:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget. I appreciate learning your views, and I apologize for the delay in my response.

On April 29th, 2009, the House passed the FY 2010 Budget Conference Report, S. Con. Res. 13, by a vote of 233-193, with my support. In broad terms, this budget establishes a framework for targeted efforts on energy independence, affordable health care, and education that I feel are long overdue. Instead of prioritizing the wealthiest, it lays the groundwork to cut taxes for middle-income families by more than $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years. Like any budget, it establishes broad allocations of funding levels for areas from foreign affairs to transportation infrastructure. I voted for S. Con. Res. 13, which closely paralleled President Obama’s priorities, because I see it as emphasizing investments for economic recovery and new jobs now—and sustainable economic growth and prosperity in years to come.

In more detail, this budget builds on tax incentives and funding in the stimulus with a 10% increase for renewable energy and technological development funding from last year’s budget, which will increase our global competitiveness. It lays out sound health and science funding, from Medicaid to the National Institutes of Health, and it strengthens public services in a time of need. This budget pushes back against steep increases in military spending and presses savings where waste has been identified in defense. To ensure that those who have put their lives on the line for our nation are not denied important care or placed on waiting list for benefits they deserve, it increases veterans’ funding by more than 11% for 2010.

As you know, this final budget did not include President Obama’s early proposals regarding tax deductions for mortgage interest and charitable donations: to cap at 28% the rate at which the highest-income households can claim deductions. Households paying income taxes at the 33% and 35% rates will continue to be able to deduct mortgage interest and charitable donations at those rates, rather than with the same, lesser benefit as households in the 28% bracket.

With regards to the national debt, we had a exceptionally difficult hand to play: an economy in recession and a very large deficit, more than 60% of it inherited from the Bush Administration. In recognition of this situation, S. Con. Res. 13 cuts the national deficit by nearly two-thirds by 2013. You may also be interested to know that on July 22, 2009, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2920, the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2009, with my support. H.R. 2920 would require Congress to find savings to balance out new legislation that would expand entitlement spending or reduce revenue, so those initiatives would be fully offset over five and ten years. In short, it would put into law the same type of system that helped turn budget deficits to surpluses in the 1990’s.

One additional point about the FY 2010 budget is that it makes more realistic cost assumptions than past budgets. Most notably, it includes the projected costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan up front, rather than leaving them to be approved as supplemental appropriations funding later on.

Again, I voted for S. Con. Res. 13 because I see it as intelligently allocating funding to areas that will serve our long-term interests in addition to our shorter-term needs. Please know that I will bear your thoughts in mind as Congress moves through the appropriations process, to make good on the priorities and national investments laid out in the FY 2010 budget.

Again, thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on this issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

John W. Olver
Member of Congress

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