National debt as increased over 300% during Congressman Joe Pitts's tenure in Washington.
Is the title of this post startling, hard to believe, make you angry, fearful, defensive...? Isn't that the way we do this now?
Congressman Pitts, in his January 6, 2013 Letter to the Editor (Lancaster Sunday News, link below), mentioned the upcoming battle over the debt limit and shared some observations regarding the causes of our fiscal crisis and the current clash of ideology in Washington. As I read his article, I was hoping to find some acknowledgement of Washington’s collective lack of fiscal responsibility over the last two decades. Instead, sadly, I read the same “blame” language that is currently crippling our democracy. I even read a statement that appears to be an excuse for his record. It reads as if he’s throwing his hands up in the air and saying, “what do you want me to do, I’ve only been a Congressman since 1997 and ‘Congress does not annually vote on many programs. They are funded automatically’, so... not my fault.”
With all due respect Congressman Pitts, please, you are a smart and politically experienced man, a Washington insider for over 15 years. You know what’s going on and you know how we got here. You have as much red ink on your hands as anyone, so instead of partaking in this partisan temper tantrum, rise above it and acknowledge that both parties are to blame and work together. Having you and your single-minded conservative colleagues hold the country and economy hostage over a debt ceiling debate that you had no problem supporting, maybe 7 times, during the Bush Administration is, for lack of a better word, childish.
In addition, how is it that our current administration is to blame for our level of national debt? When you took office, the national debt was $5.307 trillion and it is now $16.432 trillion. While you have been a congressman, the national debt has grown over 300% and given the large number of congressmen and senators who have served as long as or longer than you, how is it that you and your colleagues aren’t to blame? Certainly during the 15+ years you’ve been in office, there has been ample time to vote on programs Congress doesn’t vote on annually, as you noted in your column. And I do realize that there are democrats who are just as hypocritical and superficial as you, for example, former Senator Barak Obama voted against increasing the debt limit in 2006 as a statement against the debt increasing policies of the Bush administration. I’m guessing you didn't have a problem with the debt ceiling in 2006 and voted in favor of increasing the debt limit?
Yes, of course, the national debt is a problem. We need fiscal discipline, but this is no way for grown men and women to go about it.
Examine the Real Fiscal Cliff by Joe Pitts, January 6, 2013