Balancing the budget, cutting bureaucracy, and eliminating unnecessary red tape could create a whole new rebirth of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The Republican Study Committee has done a great service by developing a serious proposal for getting to a federal balanced budget within seven years. You can read it yourself here.
RSC Chairman Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and RSC Budget and Spending Task Force Chairman Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma led the effort which produced a solid beginning for a discussion of how to make balancing the budget a practical project.
In my new book, “Defeating Big Government Socialism,” I discuss the moral and practical importance of getting back to a balanced budget.
For me, this is a real passion. When I was Speaker, we balanced the budget for four straight years (the only time in our lifetime it has been done). In fact, when I left the speakership in 1999, experts were projecting that we would pay down the entire federal debt and then-Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan testified to Congress that the Federal Reserve experts were wrestling with how to manage the money supply if there was no debt.
Tragically, President George W. Bush’s administration was overwhelmed with the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Sustaining the reforms to balance the budget disappeared, and America went back into a long cycle of debt. Instead of diminishing to almost zero as seemed possible in 2000, the deficit has ballooned in the last 20 years to more than $30 trillion. Just printing all the paper money to sustain the debt is a major factor in increasing inflation and slowing economic growth.
For most of the last 20 years balancing the budget has not been a serious topic in Washington. However, strong bipartisan majorities support balancing the federal budget.
Now, the RSC balanced budget project reasserts that one of our major goals should be to balance the federal budget.
Balancing the federal budget is important for several reasons:
- It is morally important for governments to live within their means. People must balance their personal and family budgets. Businesses must be aware of running a deficit which could bankrupt them. The same principles should apply to politicians overseeing the federal budget.
- When deficits don’t matter, there is no reason for politicians to be frugal or responsible with the public’s money. If you are going to run a multi-billion-dollar deficit, why not just add the next payoff to one of your allies. In the 1990s, we discovered that when every dollar counted, suddenly elected officials began to say “no” to special interests and to be much more cautious about committing the taxpayers’ money to pet projects.
- When deficits don’t matter and spending seems unlimited, the toleration for waste and corruption is amazing. California had $20 billion in unemployment compensation stolen (largely from prisoners in the state prison system using prison computers for identity theft operations). Then, the person in charge of the California unemployment program was promoted by President Joe Biden to lead an even bigger bureaucracy in Washington. You see how sick the system is?
- So many policies of Big Government Socialism are destructive and waste money that a balanced budget is a mortal threat to the Left. The Big Government Socialists cannot pay off their allies if they have to pinch pennies.
Yet, the Biden inflation is forcing virtually every American family to pinch pennies and worry about family finances. The flood of new regulations, anti-business attitudes of the Democrats, inflationary pressures, and supply chain breakdowns are compounding. They are threatening to bankrupt up to one-third of our small businesses. Balancing the budget, cutting bureaucracy, and eliminating unnecessary red tape could create a whole new rebirth of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The Republican Study Committee is to be commended for its hard work, determination, and courage in reopening a vital debate that will dramatically improve the future of America.
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