AFP-PA Activists Conduct Congressional Staff Office Visits with PA Congressmen
by Randy DeSoto
AFP-PA Field Coordinator
Earlier this month, AFP activists meet with members of the Congressional staffs of Representatives Charlie Dent, Todd Platts and Representative-elect Scott Perry. The purpose of the visits was to encourage the members of Congress during the Lame Duck session and going forward into the next session to squarely face the nation’s spending problem. President Obama has repeatedly called for the Clinton era tax rates to be restored, unfortunately he has no interest in restoring that era’s spending levels. When President Clinton left office in 2000 the annual federal budget was just under $2 trillion per year (up from $1 trillion when President Reagan left office twelve years before). When President Bush finished his second term in 2008, spending had increased dramatically to nearly $3 trillion per year. Less than four years later, federal spending now stands $3.8 trillion.
The higher spending levels have predictably led to record deficits. If the upper rates were increased to the Clinton Era levels as President Obama wants, the federal government would take in an estimated $80 billion more per year and still be running over $1 trillion deficits, as it has for the previous four years. Further, a study by the respected accounting firm Ernst and Young forecasts increasing the tax rates will hit the bottom line of small business owners (the majority of whom file at the individual tax rate) and cost the economy over 700,000 jobs.
Rather than increasing taxes, the message that AFP and the activists conveyed was with entitlements making up over half of all federal spending, fundamental reform must be a central aspect of getting the nation’s fiscal house in order. If action is not taken to significantly curb spending soon, interest on the National Debt alone, currently over $200 billion per year, by the end of the decade will outstrip our entire current defense budget.
The volunteers who accompanied AFP Field Coordinator Randy DeSoto on the Congressional visit to Charlie Dent’s district office included Paul Saunders and Donna Rovito, both members of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party. Congressman Dent’s staff conveyed how encouraging it was to meet with a group that does not want more from the federal government (as is often the case), but wants it to spend and do less. Members of the York 912 Patriots, including AFP-PA’s citizen activist of the month Todd Keefer, accompanied DeSoto on the visit to Congressman Platts/Perry office. The congressional staff members stated that their members recognize the gravity of the nation’s spending problem and plan to do all they can to restore fiscal sanity to Washington.