A reader recently took issue with my opposition to the so-called "fiscal cliff deal" last month and to the "Budget Control Act" last year. (Tom Fleagle, "Congressman McClintock fiscal cliff vote was irresponsible," January 8).
The votes I cast in Congress are a trust loaned me by the people of our communities, and I therefore explain my reasons for every major vote on my website at mcclintock.house.gov. I gave special attention to these measures.
I voted against the fiscal cliff legislation not merely because it failed to cut spending, but because it added $300 billion of new obligations according to the Congressional Budget Office, including a multitude of special interest carve-outs. The deal left in place massive tax increases that impact 76 percent of net small business income - precisely the income they use to create 2/3 of the new jobs in our economy. Both the Congressional Budget Office and Ernst and Young have warned this policy will result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs.
With respect to the Budget Control Act, it was the largest debt increase in the history of our nation. Rather than cutting spending, it merely cut the rate of increase, and did so by less than a third of what Standard and Poor's officials warned was the minimum necessary to preserve our nation's triple-A credit.
The writer is correct: I do believe the federal government needs to be significantly smaller, less meddlesome and more efficient than it is today. Over the past decade, spending has grown at nearly twice the rate of inflation and population and caused $6 trillion of additional debt to be heaped on our children.
The path we are on is unsustainable, ruinous, and in the letter-writer's word, irresponsible.
U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock