OPINION

Why do Iowans re-elect fiscally irresponsible U.S. Representatives and Senators?

Steve Corbin

America’s current federal deficit exceeds $19.1 trillion (www.us-debt-clock.org). To get rid of this debt, which is owned by you and me, each person in the USA must pony up $60,000.

President Obama and all previous presidents cannot be blamed, as the federal budget is established by the U.S. House and Senate, not the President’s office. The real culprits for our ugly predicament include Grassley, Ernst, Blum, King, Loebsack, Young and all senators and representatives elected since 1974, who have approved out-of-control spending.

• Logically, the longer a politician has represented Iowa, the more guilt she/he must accept.

• “We the people” are also guilty for re-electing individuals who have proven over and over that they are fiscally irresponsible politicians.

We not only have to worry about the federal deficit but also the effect it has on Iowa. One-third of Iowa’s $21 billion total budget comes from Uncle Sam. Unless our Beavis and Butthead-acting federally elected representatives get their act together, Iowa will receive fewer federal resources for our important transportation, education, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid needs, to name a few.

Our federal deficit equals 74 percent of America’s gross domestic product (GDP). Economists note the closer our federal deficit gets to 80-90 percent of GDP, our financial status will be equivalent to bankrupt Greece, Japan, Italy, Puerto Rico and Portugal. Left unchecked, our federal deficit will exceed 100 percent of GDP by 2039.

Without budget discipline by our United States Congress, America is guaranteed to have a Value Added Tax, higher interest rates, uncontrolled inflation, slower economic growth, crowding out of private investments, loss of U.S. dollar being the world’s economic standard and larger government.

It is imperative to only elect U.S. representatives, senators and a president who will commit to balancing the federal budget.

One question should be asked of all presidential, U.S. House of Representative and U.S. Senate candidates: If elected, will you in the first 100 days of the new president’s office, work with a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders on resolving the federal deficit by 2030? FYI: Over 1 million Americans support this tactic.

All Iowa U.S. House of Representative and Senate candidates should be asked three questions:

1-Would you support the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which prohibits Congress from passing budgets that would increase the national debt as a share of the overall economy, except in cases of war, disaster or a recession? FYI: 76 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of Republicans, and 78 percent of independents support this initiative.*

2-Are you supportive of No Budget, No Pay, whereby if the appropriations (spending) process is not completed by the start of a new federal fiscal year, congressional pay ceases as of Oct. 1 and salaries are not restored until the appropriations is completed? FYI: 82 percent of Republicans and Democrats and 79 percent of independents support No Budget, No Pay.*

3-Would you support a federal government budget whereby it is separated into two parts: a capital budget for long-term investments (e.g., research, infrastructure, etc.), and an operating budget for annual expenses? FYI: 80 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents support capital budget planning.*

If our bicameral legislators in Washington, D.C., continue to do nothing with the deficit, it will create certain chaos for Iowa and USA’s economy.

As an owner of the $19.1 trillion federal deficit, are you going to re-elect the same representatives and senators that got us in this financial situation — or is it time for new fiscally responsible replacements?

*Source: Cohen Research Group, February-March, 2016, sample of over 3,000 registered voters (1,000 voters per Republican, Democrat & independent voting groups); 3.1 percent margin of error.

Dr. Steve Corbin is Professor Emeritus of Marketing, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls; and a 1966 graduate of Nevada High School. He can be reached at: Steven.B.Corbin@gmail.com.