National debt at $16 trillion

Posted September 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Vicky Hartzler fall.png

Good Day,

This week we had good news and bad news. The good news was that most of our district was blessed with an abundant rain which will help combat the drought. It was wonderful to see the nice, gentle rain coming down to soak the parched ground and start filling our ponds again. We need more rain, but are thankful for what we got and look forward to seeing our yards and pastures turn green again. We can continue to hope and pray for that.

On the not so good front, we received the distressing news this week that President Obama’s failed policies have pushed America’s national debt above $16 trillion for the first time in the history of this country. America’s debt has increased by more than $5.3 trillion since President Obama took office in January of 2009. It has taken him just 3-and-a-half years to rack up the amount of the entire debt that our country accumulated from its beginning through 1997, during President Clinton’s second term. The national debt is now equal to $50,950 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. And, under President Obama’s own budget proposal, national debt will continue to rise by over $9 trillion in the next ten years, reaching $25.3 trillion by 2022. That is unacceptable. This debt is impacting families by killing jobs and stifling our entire economy. We cannot continue to mortgage ourselves to China. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has warned that more borrowing and higher debt will lead to more economic hardship and less opportunity. It’s time for a right change in our country’s finances.

Since going to Washington in 2011, I have worked to pass two budgets that address the drivers of the debt and cut wasteful government spending. Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Senate has refused to pass a budget in more than three years. It’s hard to turn things around when our efforts have been blocked by the Senate, but we must keep trying.

For the good of our children and grandchildren who are being saddled with mountains of debt, we must cut government spending to protect hardworking taxpayers, take on the drivers of America’s national debt, reform our tax code to spur job creation, strengthen health and retirement security by taking power away from government bureaucrats and putting it in the hands of the people, and reverse the President’s policies. We do this by embracing an “all of the above” energy policy that will both create jobs and help lower costs. We simply cannot afford to wait any longer.

On another matter, I recently had the opportunity to speak to the Heart of America Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) at a luncheon in Kansas City regarding the threats to our country – both domestic and foreign. Domestic threats include the impending draconian cuts to our national defense known as sequestration. These military veterans and their spouses understand the realities of this ill-advised policy and support my efforts to reverse it.

Foreign threats we discussed include dangers to this country from terrorist-sponsoring nations such as Syria and Iran, the potential threat from dictatorships throughout the world, including North Korea and the increasing power and influence of China – both in the Pacific and in the Western Hemisphere. I also spoke of the need for the Senate to join the House in accepting a common sense package of reforms that would replace cuts to our national defense while also making common sense cuts to domestic spending. This is something we must take care of before the sequestration process kicks in early in the new year, threatening to hollow out our military. It is something I am committed to addressing.

Heart of America Chapter President Bill Tudor presented me with a challenge coin and a cased and folded U.S. flag. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the daughter of a U.S. Army Reservist I am honored to meet with heroes who have put their lives on the line to fight for our American way of life. I will continue to represent their interests in Congress.

In closing, I would like to let you in on a very special event we have planned for Warrensburg. The Defending Our Defenders Listening Session will feature brief presentations on the impact of potential defense cuts and sequestration. We will then hear from our veterans, community representatives and business leaders who recognize the seriousness of this debate and the devastating impact of defense cuts that will likely become reality if we do not reach agreement on other areas in which federal government spending should be cut. The Defending Our Defenders Listening Session is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 6:30 pm at the University of Central Missouri’s Hendricks Hall. For more information and to RSVP please go to or contact Shaelyn McClanahan in my Harrisonville office at 816-884-3411. I hope to see you there.

Have a good week.