With Opening Day of baseball season in our sights, spring has finally arrived. Families across South Dakota are preparing for outdoor track meets and open-water fishing, but before we can get outside and enjoy the long-awaited warmer temperatures, there’s another annual “holiday” we need to get past first – tax day.

We’re only a couple weeks away from the April 15th deadline to file taxes for 2012. According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, individuals and businesses spend about 6.1 billion hours each year doing their taxes and complying with complicated tax laws.

Now, some in Washington, D.C. are proposing that we raise taxes even more on hard-working Americans to help manage our deficit. In fact, the budget that was finally passed by the Senate proposes almost $1 trillion in additional taxes. I believe that we don’t have deficits because Americans are taxed too little; we have deficits because Washington spends too much.

In contrast, the budget that was passed by the House of Representatives will balance the federal budget in 10 years and reduces the deficit by $4.6 trillion. This budget is a crucial step to putting our nation back on a sustainable fiscal path. Our budget brings spending down to a reasonable level so that we do not have to raise taxes on American families and job creators. Not only does the House budget lower tax rates for individuals, businesses and families through pro-growth tax reform and closing loopholes, it also gives the green light to the Keystone XL pipeline project and fully repeals Obamacare.

The Senate budget will never balance and that’s unacceptable to me. South Dakota families and businesses balance their budgets every year and we know that it’s unsustainable to spend more than we take in. It’s time for the federal government to do the same. While the House has passed a budget every year since I took office, this was the first time in four years that the Senate considered and passed a budget. I applaud the Senate for doing its job, but raising taxes and continued deficit spending are non-starters for me.

While President Obama was able to complete his NCAA bracket in time, he once again failed to meet his own budget deadline. A budget serves as a blueprint for our nation’s priorities and I’m disappointed that the President fails to take this seriously.

I am optimistic that House and Senate leaders will work out the differences between the two budgets so that we can pass a budget that’s acceptable to both chambers. During these negotiations, I’d like to hear from you and to get your thoughts about the federal budget process. Email me through my website (http://noem.house.gov), send me a tweet (@RepKristiNoem) with your opinions and ideas or reach out to one of my offices. Contact information is listed below:

Sioux Falls: 605-275-2868 / Watertown: 605-878-2868 / Aberdeen: 605-262-2862 / Rapid City: 605-791-4673 / Washington, D.C.: 202-225-2801 / Toll-Free: 1-855-225-2801

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