Ryan Vs. Sensenbrenner Vs. Johnson
It's not often you find these conservative stalwarts on the opposition sides of an issue like this. But they all make interesting cases for their respective positions.
We’ll never get our debt under control unless we tackle its main drivers: too little economic growth and too much spending. Without presidential leadership, it will be difficult to forge bipartisan solutions to our debt and economic challenges.
“Today, I joined my colleagues in the House to protect as many Americans as possible from a tax increase. We also provided certainty by making the lower tax rates permanent. The House has already passed legislation to prevent tax increases for every American family, and it is unfortunate that President Obama insisted on taking more from hardworking taxpayers. Despite my concerns with other provisions in the bill, I commend my colleagues for limiting the damage as much as possible.
“The American people chose divided government. As elected officials, we have a duty to apply our principles to the realities of governing. And we must exercise prudence. We must weigh the benefits and the costs of action—and of inaction. In H.R. 8, there are clearly provisions that I oppose. But the question remains: Will the American people be better off if this law passes relative to the alternative? In the final analysis, the answer is undoubtedly yes. I came to Congress to make tough decisions—not to run away from them.
“Now, we must return our attention to the real problem: out-of-control spending. Washington’s reckless spending drives the debt. And this debt is hurting the economy today. Unless we get at the heart of the problem, Americans will face a debt crisis—one that will threaten our most vulnerable in particular. It is our responsibility to prevent such a crisis.”
Sensenbrenner explains his vote no:
"The so-called deal doesn't promote economic growth or job creation, it discourages it. Rather than address the drivers of our debt problem, it completely avoids any serious spending reform."
The bill "only prolongs a debt crisis that will surely hand the taxpayers a bigger bill in the long term and threaten our economic growth."
"The 'fiscal cliff' may be over, but our fiscal crisis is not. The upcoming 113th Congress must focus on cutting spending and reforming the structural causes of our debt, including entitlements."
Ron Johnson's statement here:
“Although I strongly prefer extension of current tax rates for all Americans, I supported the compromise bill that protects 99% of Wisconsinites from an income tax increase, limits the death tax, and prevents a dramatic increase in milk prices. It is by no means a perfect piece of legislation.
"The revenue raised by this legislation will equal approximately 7% of projected deficits. It is now time for President Obama and his Democrat colleagues to show the American public their plan to close the other 93% of the deficit.
"Our nation's debt now stands at $16.4 trillion, and has reached its statutory limit. We blew through the $2.1 trillion increase in the debt ceiling granted in August 2011 in only 17 months. This is clearly unsustainable, and President Obama must begin to work with Congress to reduce the size, scope, and cost of government.
"We are mortgaging our children's future. This is immoral and it must stop.”