Despite what President Obama and his ilk may have you believe, America has a spending problem. CQ reports (sub. req'd) Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the new chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, is going to use his position to "promote the idea of limiting overall spending to a percentage of the gross domestic product."
He has already drafted legislation that would limit overall spending to about 19 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2014, gradually declining to about 16.5 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2017. To put that goal in perspective, current federal spending amounts to 23 percent of GDP, a great deal above the historic average of 18 percent of GDP.
Cutting spending isn't just an idea conservatives are throwing out there because it makes them feel good (remember, acting solely on feelings is a liberal thing). It is absolutely essential if we want our country to thrive and prosper now and in the future. Every dollar spent by the government is a dollar that is confiscated from the private sector economy and (at least right now) from our future.
Brady also said that spending caps cannot be cited to support tax increases. Of course, the left is completely unserious about spending and cares nothing about the deficits. The White House Spokesman, Jay Carney, said yesterday that "deficit reduction is not a worthy goal unto itself."
It seems the liberals have all been living under a rock. Just as a reminder, a year ago today, Ed Feulner told us what must be done to defend the American Dream:
First, the budget problem must be addressed. Left alone, entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and their unfunded liabilities will cripple the nation.
Reforms to entitlement programs, health insurance and the federal tax code under Heritage's plan would balance the budget within 10 years, and keep it balanced - not with tax hikes, but with serious cuts in government spending.
Next is debt. Currently, the federal debt is 70 percent of the economy and rising. By the early 2020s, debt would amount to 100 percent of gross domestic product.
Unfortunately, the fiscal cliff deal raised spending by $47 billion dollars. That's the liberals' idea of "balanced," and conservatives' common sense recommendations fall on deaf ears when it comes to people whose obsession is to grow government regardless of the cost.
Heritage's Patrick Knudsen explains:
Today's trillion-dollar deficits and rising debt are the product of excessive spending. Until Congress and the President take substantial steps toward reining in spending, especially in the government's entitlement programs, debt will be a constant drain on the country's prosperity. Having squandered this opportunity, lawmakers need to focus on substantive spending reductions in forthcoming budget debates.
Jay Carney and his liberal friends would do well to listen to this precaution. After all, as Mr. Carney stated, the focus should be "making our economy stronger, making it more productive and allowing it to create even more jobs." Does he have any idea how much Congress and the President have impeded these goals with the laws they've passed and the policies they've implemented? The answer to that question is indubitably "no."