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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

Fiscal Responsibility

While things may be improving, the federal government has run deficits in excess of $1 trillion each of the last few years. Our national debt recently surpassed $15 trillion. If our debt was divided among the U.S. labor force, every single American worker would owe more than $100,000.

The interest alone on our debt currently sits at more than $200 billion a year. This is a hidden tax on future generations. Instead of investing in job creation, renewable energy, infrastructure, Social Security and Medicare, our children and grandchildren will be paying back the money with interest that we’re borrowing.

Also, as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said, our national debt is the single biggest national security threat facing our country. Much of our debt is held by foreign countries which do not share our values and are not our allies.

This is why I fought for pay-as-you-go budgeting (PAYGO).  PAYGO ensures that the bills that Congress passes do not increase our debt. It requires that any spending increases or tax cuts be offset by cutting spending or increasing revenues. PAYGO was part of the reason we had a budget surplus in the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, in 2002 Congress allowed PAYGO to expire. This, along with two wars, tax cuts and a new prescription drug program – all of which were unpaid for, coupled with the worst recession since the Great Depression, is the reason our nation’s debt is so large today.

We have to get our debt and deficit under control. The best way to do this is through a balanced approach that cuts spending, asks everyone to pay their fair share, and creates jobs.

We have to take a hard look at all government programs and make sure taxpayers are getting the most bang for their buck. We have to get rid of programs that aren’t needed, and if a program is needed we must make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible. For example, with information now available online, we were able to cut the Government Printing Office's congressional printing and binding service by millions of dollars. Many more cuts like this can be found.

Defense cuts also must be on the table. A strong national defense doesn’t have to be the most expensive national defense, and there are responsible cuts to be made. Last year, the Commission on Wartime Contracting identified more than $30 billion in waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s $30 billion that should never have been spent. We can find more areas to scale back, and we can do it without making any cuts that put a single American life at risk.

Next, our tax structure must be reformed so that everyone pays their fair share. Over the last 10 years, we have spent billions of dollars on tax cuts that weren’t paid for. These cuts were the number one reason that a trillion-dollar surplus turned into a trillion-dollar deficit, and that is why I voted against them.

We also need to invest in job creation. We will not reduce our debt without growing our economy. More jobs will mean more revenue and these revenues will help get our nation out of the red.

Though a balanced approach that cuts spending, asks everyone to pay their fair share, and invests in job creation, we can get our nation on a fiscally sustainable path.

 

Visit USADebtClock.com to learn more!

More on Fiscal Responsibility

May 5, 2014 Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today released the following statement in recognition of California’s Geothermal Awareness Day.

Apr 11, 2014 News Articles

Lake County's House of Representatives members, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) and Rep. John Garamendi (CA-3), on Thursday joined a bipartisan group of representatives in voting against H.Con.Res. 96, the House Majority’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1).

The budget resolution passed by a vote of 219-205.

No Democrats voted for the resolution and 12 Republicans voted against the resolution.

The Senate will not pass H.Con.Res. 96, and if they did, the president would veto it, the congressmen reported.

Apr 10, 2014 Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today joined a bipartisan group of representatives in voting against H.Con.Res. 96, the House Majority’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1). The budget resolution passed by a vote of 219-205. No Democrats voted for the resolution and 12 Republicans voted against the resolution. The Senate will not pass H.Con.Res. 96, and if they did, the President would veto it.

Apr 10, 2014 News Articles

Though the House Majority’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget was passed by the House today, Sonoma Valley’s U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, who voted against it, said the Senate will not pass the budget, and if it did, the President would veto it.

“This reckless spending plan will kill jobs, end the guarantee of Medicare for America’s seniors, raises taxes on middle-class families while rewarding the wealthy and corporations that ship jobs overseas, gut our education system and make college more expensive for hard working families,” said Thompson.

Mar 12, 2014 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) today announced that he led a bipartisan letter with Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV), Steve Pearce (R-NM), Jared Huffman (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) calling on President Obama to protect local clean energy royalties from harmful budget cuts. The letter urged the President to not repeal the sharing of geothermal royalty payments with counties. Because of the high burdens that geothermal production places on the counties where it is developed, counties currently share in the revenue of the federal receipts.

Mar 12, 2014 News Articles

Reps. Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman are urging President Barack Obama not to eliminate geothermal royalty payments totaling nearly $2 million a year to Sonoma and Lake counties.

Four other congressmen, including two Republicans, joined the call to preserve the payments, which amount to $2.2 million for eight California counties involved in steam power production.

Feb 19, 2014 News Articles

Soldiers carry them into battle, fly them high over foreign bases, and triumphantly carry them in processions, but those stars and stripes, until now, have often been made in China.

That irony spurred North Bay Congressman Mike Thompson (D) to write legislation requiring flags purchased by the Department of Defense (DoD) be 100 percent “Made in America.” That legislation is now law, signed as part of the 2014 omnibus appropriations bill.

Feb 18, 2014 News Articles

Sometimes it just takes an act of Congress to get things done. That's exactly what happened in the North Bay. A Rohnert Park flag factory helped to change the law, as well as the lives of those working there.

You might assume that every flag is made in America. Not quite. And that's at the heart of the story.

Feb 18, 2014 News Articles

Strips of red, white and blue fabric lay draped on tables and piled in bins, making the North Bay Industries warehouse in Rohnert Park look like the set of “The Colbert Report” on Patriot Day.

The 28 workers busily stitched the colorful cloth into American flags 3 feet wide and 5 feet long, big enough to cover the coffin at a veteran's funeral.

Every part of these flags — from the upland cotton grown in the U.S. South, to dye added in South Carolina, to the American brass grommets, to the painstaking sewing in Rohnert Park — is American.

Jan 7, 2014 Press Release

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5), a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, issued the following statement after the Senate voted to begin consideration of a bipartisan three-month extension of emergency unemployment insurance (S. 1845) on a vote of 60 to 37: