Most of the time when people do a “year in review” they focus on a calendar year. Many examples include: “Did I keep my New Year’s resolution?” “Did I do better with my health?” “Did I treat others well?”
As a business man and congressional candidate, my review is centered on the fiscal year. As such, on Oct. 1, annually, begins the federal government’s new fiscal year. So what have we learned in the past year?
I’ll start the review in August and September 2013. In the weeks leading up to the Oct. 1 deadline, there was political in-fighting between both political parties on what was best for our country.  Republicans in D.C., led by Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Martin Stutzman, led us to the “fiscal cliff.” This was the term economists labeled as Oct. 1’s deadline for passing appropriations and a budget.  However, the U.S. House led the way and shut down the government beginning on midnight Oct. 1, 2013.
Two days later, on Oct. 3, 2013, there was the quote heard around the world on what the shutdown meant to Stutzman.
“We're not going to be disrespected, we have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is.” As everyone knows, this was our very own Marlin Stutzman. While he was continuing to collect his paycheck, there were many others that were put out of work in his own district or had their jobs placed in jeopardy for the dysfunction that is also known as the U.S. Congress. Instead of leading out of a crisis, Congressman Stutzman helped drive the economy over the fiscal cliff to the ultimate 16-day price tag of $24 billion.
What this last year has also shown, is even with the outpouring of anger for the way Congress manages their purse strings or how effective they are, it remains business as usual. Before their recess leading up to the elections, a vote was made on a “Continued Resolution,” which is only a short-term budget solution, pushing a vote on the budget for the next fiscal year to Dec. 11 to keep the government funded. Another chance to lead, and yet our current representatives in Congress continue to kick the can down the road. When faced with a choice to lead, they choose the cowards way out. Delay for tomorrow what you can fix today. They did not debate or vote on the crisis unfolding in the Middle East authorizing force against ISIS/ISIL. They did not debate or vote to continue to fix all the problems in the VA system for our veterans. They did not debate or vote on fixing our immigration system. They did not debate or vote on a long-term solution to the National Highway Trust Fund.
This is the business as usual approach for Congress or as I’m terming the status quo. If we, as citizens, operated our lives like the Congress operates the government, we would lose our homes, our cars, our jobs and our livelihood. Our citizens deserve better. Our citizens deserve a break from the status quo.
The #statusquohasgottogo and this November is our chance to change the flow in northeast Indiana. I am running to change the business-as-usual climate. Someone that will drive at bringing both sides to the table and working through our differences for the better of our society and the problems we face as a nation, whether that is providing equal opportunities for our citizens or protecting the retirement that our seniors deserve. The citizens deserve a leader from day one, and I will not treat this current fiscal year like our current congressman treated the past. I have the vision for the future that is balanced, while he is holding onto the status quo of the past.