He says that can be done by tax & entitlement reforms, closing loopholes.
There are better ways to address the federal budget deficit than sequestration. That's according to 6th District Congressman John Delaney (D). During a visit to Frederick on Friday, Delaney said the President and Congress should implement spending reductions to help erase the deficit, but not as severe as these. "There's a lot of programs in there that involve both investing in our future, taking care of kids, taking care of those that are most vulnerable. There's just a better day to do this," he says. "It's not the amount of the cuts that I have such a big issue with--though they're more than I would have wanted--it's how it's applied."
Delaney says we need to be "smarter" when it comes to reductions in spending. "We should be looking at what programs are really, actually providing a very high quality service to those that are either most vulnerable, or to programs that are really investing in America's future. We shouldn't be making cuts there. There are other areas where we should be making cuts, but they shouldn't be done in this indiscriminate manner," he says.
In early March, President Barrack Obama signed an order to begin $85-billion dollars in sequestration cuts, something he opposed, but unsuccessfully tried to stop.
A lot of the discussion on sequestration involves taxes. The Democrats and the President want to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and the Republicans are strongly against any tax increases, preferring budget cuts only.
Congressman Delaney says increasing revenues should be a part of any plan to reduce the federal deficit. "I'm in favor of revising the tax code to raise more revenues for the government," he says. "I'm in favor of the Buffet Rule type of approach. I'm in favor of closing certain corporate loopholes, but also lowering the corporate tax rate to make the country more competitive."The "Buffet Rule" is named after investor Warren Buffet, who wants persons making $1-million or more annually to pay a tax rate of at least 30%.
But Delaney also says something needs to be done when it comes to entitlement programs, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. "I'm also in favor of common sense reform for our entitlement programs, so they become more sustainable. So they don't crowd out our other priorities," he says.
A lot of the sequester cuts have affected the military, especially the Defense Department's civilian workforce. Delaney says his office has been hearing from constituents about the sequestration, and what impact it could have. "The constituents are nervous and they're correct to be nervous because Maryland, and the 6th Congressional District in particular, its economy is very much tied to things the federal government does. So when the federal government makes cuts like it's doing in the sequester, it tends to disproportionally affect our district, which is one reason why I've been so focused on it."
Last week, the House of Representatives approved a continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded throughout the fiscal year. The measure is awaiting action by the US Senate.