Neugebauer: 'Fiscal Cliff' result of spending, not taxes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Neugebauer: 'Fiscal Cliff' result of spending, not taxes

As the first of the year approaches, current tax rates will expire and across the board and defense cuts will go into effect. This is what many on Capitol Hill refer to as the "Fiscal Cliff." Congress has yet to come to an agreement.

Congressman Randy Neugebauer said although discussions have focused on tax policy, he believes the main issue our country faces is too much spending. 

"Really, the reason we have these huge deficits right now is not because we don't collect enough money. It's because we spend too much money," said Congressman Neugebauer.

In regards to Republicans and Democrats coming to an agreement to avoid the "Fiscal Cliff," KCBD NewsChannel 11 asked Congressman Neugebauer his thoughts on making those discussions public for the American people to hear as the current approval rating for Congress is not very high.

"Transparency is a healthy thing for government," said Neugebauer.  "I didn't like the talks were behind the scenes for healthcare." He said he supports the idea, but the White House is resisting them.

Congressman Neugebauer said it is difficult to predict if Congress would come to an agreement before Christmas.

"The President is focusing on taxes and doesn't want to talk about spending.  I don't see us getting it done before the 31st of December."

Congressman Neugebauer also wants to have lawmakers come together and make a resolution for the Farm Bill, which expired last September. Many local farmers depend on the bill for crop subsidies. Congressman Neugebauer wants to include it in a budget deal to avoid year-end tax increases. 

He also said he wants to keep transparency alive in the financial markets to ensure that farmers can afford to use the tools they are provided.  Neugebauer said he is specifically looking into the Dodd-Frank bill driving up the cost of capital.

"One of the things we've been very concerned about is that with these over 400 rules of Dodd-Frank," he said.  Neugebauer says it may hinder local farmers from being able to manage the risks they take with their inputs.

In addition to the Farm Bill, Neugebauer wants to address other expired bills, including those surrounding unemployment and doctor reimbursements.

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