Have your voices heard, YouCut America – and working together, we can cut spending

Rep. Fred Upton Contributor
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The economic alarm bells are deafening.  As of June 7th, the federal government is $13.052 trillion in the red.  We now owe China nearly $1 trillion and Japan $800 billion and the debt continues to pile up.  For every dollar we spend this year we will have to borrow 42 cents.

At $13 trillion, that figure has risen by $2.4 trillion in about 500 days since President Obama took office and joined Nancy Pelosi in controlling our nation’s purse strings.

To put it more simply, the debt has grown an average of $4.9 billion a day under the Democrats’ one-party rule.

These numbers are astronomical, but what do they really mean to all of us?  Right now, the share of the debt held by every man, woman and child is $42,310, and that figure is growing by the day.

Despite the desperate need to cut spending, the Democrats continue their spending bonanza and rapid expansion of government.  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has stated that the federal budget “appears to be on an unsustainable path.”  If only Speaker Pelosi and the President would give heed to Bernanke’s warning, but the spending continues.

While folks may feel helpless, House Republicans have given the American people a voice in the effort to cut spending through the groundbreaking effort of YouCut.  This revolutionary online initiative empowers Americans to vote for specific spending cuts as House Republicans seek to cut wasteful government spending.

Each week, YouCut offers a list of five proposals aimed at reducing government spending.  In turn, participants may vote for the one proposal that they would most like to see addressed by Congress.  The following week, House Republicans will seek a vote on the House Floor on whether or not to take up and debate the top vote-getter selected by the public.  Nearly a million votes have been cast to date.

There are too many needed cuts to list, but this week, my YouCut proposal seeks to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from hiring thousands of additional agents and employees to implement the new government health care law—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—which would save taxpayers upwards of $5 to $10 billion over the next ten years.

It defies reality that in a time of skyrocketing debt, Congress sets aside billions of dollars for the IRS to hire thousands of new bureaucrats rather than offer small businesses incentives to hire new employees.  We must get our priorities straight.

Blocking the IRS from implementing the health overhaul and its hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes will protect the American taxpayer as we work to repeal this harmful legislation and replace it with meaningful, bipartisan reform.

You vote for my effort to block the IRS from implementing the health bill.  And today, we will bring the measure to the floor of the House for an up or down vote.

It is well past time Congress reflects the “will of the people” and starts voting to end reckless spending.  House Republicans are listening, and together, we will cut spending and put our nation back on the path to prosperity.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.