Skip to main content

Letter from Senator Hutchson.

During the recent debt limit fiasco, I wrote my Senators and Congressman.  I received reasonably lucid respones, which I'll post here.

However, I must preface it by saying that words fail me at the level of disdain I feel for people who can only cut $25 billion of spending from a $2.6 Trillion budget.....

Here is the letter from Senator Hutchison.

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me regarding our national debt. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Out-of-control spending has put our economic and national security at risk. Over the past two years, the federal government has posted deficits of $1.4 trillion and $1.3 trillion, respectively. Our nation’s accumulated debt surpassed $14 trillion December 2010, and reached its statutory limit of $14.3 trillion on August 2, 2011. The debate over our nation's debt ceiling agreement presented Congress and the White House with the opportunity to achieve real, substantive spending cuts and reforms that are necessary to put our fiscal house in order.

I am a cosponsor and strong supporter of both the Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and S. 1340, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. The only permanent solution to our debt and deficit crisis is to enact laws that require the federal budget to be balanced every year, and that cap the share of our country's economic output that can be diverted to support our government.

Unfortunately, the Democrat majority in the Senate has repeatedly blocked voting on either bill. Most recently, on July 22, 2011, despite unanimous support from me and all Republican Senators, the Senate majority voted down a procedural move to bring up the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act.

The House of Representatives, which had passed the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, then approved a compromise bill that would have raised the debt limit by $900 billion -- accompanied by more than $900 billion in initial spending cuts, no tax increases, and a commitment that the Senate vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment. Senate Democrats rejected this compromise and brought forward a proposal that was rejected by both the full Senate and the House of Representatives.

With the deadline for debt limit action approaching, the Republican Leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives negotiated directly with the White House, and arrived at a debt limit and deficit cut agreement that was approved by the full House and Senate, and signed by the President on August 2, 2011. This agreement raises the debt by about $900 billion, locks in more than $900 billion in spending cuts, and does not raise taxes. It also requires the Senate to vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment before the end of 2011.

The debt limit agreement establishes a special Congressional committee to recommend at least $1.2 trillion in additional spending cuts that must accompany any further increase in the debt limit. If the committee cannot agree on these cuts, or if the full Congress or the President reject them, the August 2 legislation triggers $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts in all federal discretionary spending programs.

The provisions of this agreement fall far short of the $4 trillion in spending cuts that I hoped could be achieved; however, it is the best result that could be achieved with Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House. Tax increases are off the table, a vote on the Balanced Budget is guaranteed, and never again will Congress and the White House take for granted upping the limit on the national credit card. Finally, this agreement provided a needed respite for our weak, jobless economic recovery.

Please be assured that I remain strongly committed to the goal of balancing the federal budget -- without raising taxes. I appreciate hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you.


Kay Bailey Hutchison

United States Senator

284 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

202-224-5922 (tel)

202-224-0776 (fax)


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: What Matters Now by Gary Hamel

Interview of Eric Schmidt by Gary Hamel at the MLab dinner tonight. Google's Marissa Mayer and Hal Varian also joined the open dialog about Google's culture and management style, from chaos to arrogance. The video just went up on YouTube. It's quite entertaining. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Cover of The Future of ManagementMy list of must-read business writers continues to expand.Gary Hamel, however, author of What Matters Now, with the very long subtitle of How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, has been on the list for quite some time.Continuing his thesis on the need for a new approach to management introduced in his prior book The Future of Management, Hamel calls for a complete rethinking of how enterprises are run.

Fundamental to his recommendation is that the practice of management is ossified in a command and control system that is now generations old and needs to be replaced with something that reflects an educat…

Book Review- Stretch by Scott Sonenshein

Have you ever watched, or been involved in, a business failure, where, despite the best efforts of hardworking people, the business doesn’t survive? Scott Sonenshein lived through it, as he describes in the Introduction to his engrossing book Stretch.  (In some books, the reader can skip the intro- not this one; the introduction is a must-read part of the book.) He was hired by start-up Vividence in Silicon Valley at the very apex of the tech boom.  Despite prestige VC backers, top-tier hires and $50 million, Vividence didn’t make it. As his career continued, that experience led to an interest in why some well-funded operations don’t succeed, while other, more resource constrained, do. Peter Senge wrote about reinforcing cycles as part of his book The Fifth Discipline, which I consider one of the finest business books ever penned. In it, Senge describes the downward cycle that some companies fall into, and why it is so difficult to reverse. Sonenshein explores those cycles from diffe…

Tax Inversions

A savvy businessman once told me “it’s important to know what problem you are trying to solve”.
Let’s ignore for the moment whether or not Treasury or the IRS had the power to change the rules on so-called tax inversions without Congressional action. (The power they said they didn’t have only a few months ago.)
Rather, let’s focus on what problem we are trying to solve. That is, why is the greatest country on earth chasing companies away? Shouldn’t the U.S. be the place that companies want to locate their headquarters?
Imagine this: the U.S. legal structure and tax regime was so attractive that Mercedes, Toyota, Astra Zeneca, Samsung, Total, Singapore Air, Banco Santander, Petrobras, Fujitsu, Nokia, SAP, Audi, Tata Group, Lenovo, Pirelli, Deutsche Bank, Honda, LG, Hyundai, Roche, Credit Suisse, Four Seasons, Siemens, Phillips, Bridgestone, Anglo-America, DeBeers, Volkswagen, Canon,  L’Oréal, Swatch, Armani, LVMH, Toshiba, H&M, Mahindra, Aldi, Kubota, Onex, Ducati, Pemex, Saudi-Ara…