Racing Down the Path to Balance
Sometimes it is hard to identify progress in Washington, but buried beneath yesterday’s headlines was a reason for optimism: House Republicans continued to reaffirm their commitment that they will put America on a path to balance within 10 years without raising taxes.
While House Republicans appear committed to that very necessary and achievable goal, the Obama administration’s reluctance is palpable. Not only did they miss the legal deadline for submitting a budget proposal to Congress (again), there is no indication they intend to pursue a path to balance.
In an effort to highlight the Obama administration’s fiscal negligence and force a smidgen of transparency from an otherwise opaque bureaucracy, Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) introduced the Require a PLAN Act (H.R.444). If the President’s budget does not achieve balance within the ten-year Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring window, the bill would require the administration to submit a “supplemental unified budget” that identifies when his budget would balance.
Last month, the heads of Heritage Action, Family Research Council and Club for Growth explained the importance of balancing in the near term:
Ten years is not a random horizon, but the traditional congressional budget window. Nor is this demand the result of mere whimsy—it is a moral obligation. No American should have to tell an 8-year-old child that we cannot get our nation’s house in order by the time she goes to college. There are many ways to get to a balanced budget and both Democrats and Republicans have an obligation to explain what path they will choose.
There was a time when the Obama administration shared a similar sense of urgency. In 2011, Jack Lew told the American people the Obama administration’s “budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we’re not adding to the debt anymore; we’re spending money that we have each year.” Unfortunately, the Obama administration could not even honor that gimmick-ridden promise.
Last week, Congressman Price reaffirmed the House will “produce a budget that balances within the next 10 years” and use the Require a PLAN Act to “force President Obama to produce a plan to balance the nation’s budget.”
Conservatives are clearly determined to fight to implement the policies to take us to a 10-year path to balance. Doing so is necessary if we are to quickly jump-start our sluggish economy and improve the lives of millions of struggling Americans. Americans deserve to know if President Obama is committed to that cause.