WASHINGTON, D.C. – A persistent concern among Americans is the amount of (over)spending that goes on in our nation’s capitol. The federal government spend hundreds of billions more than it takes in taxes and, despite the talking points of innumerable politicians, it only seems to grow. Only a handful of lawmakers make genuine efforts to follow through on campaign promises to cut spending; one of them is Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and the senate is voting on his balanced budget bill Monday.
“We teach our children that money doesn’t grow on trees, and then they grow up watching politicians pretend otherwise. Meanwhile, our debt soars past $22 trillion, endangers our country, and artificially limits what our nation can achieve. Today, the U.S. Senate can vote to put a stop to it and change course,” said Paul of his ‘Penny Plan’ bill.
The legislation, if passed into law, would cut two pennies out of every dollar of federal spending in order to balance the budget in five years. It gives lawmakers flexibility to cut deeper in some areas and not as much in priority programs so there are no excuses. The cuts wouldn’t even touch Social Security.
By cutting two percent per year for five years, the budget balances and in the following five years, on the same plan, government coffers would sport a surplus of over $900 billion. That means we could actually start reducing the debt, continue cutting taxes, and set ourselves on a trajectory for fiscal sanity for the first time in recent memory.
In addition, the plan requires each committee with mandatory spending to be involved in the reconciliation process, as was the process’ original purpose. It also facilitates needed budget process reform, raising the waiver threshold for all budget points of order so the Senate is held to a higher standard and making the budget spending totals enforceable for 10 years instead of just one.
The moment of truth, then, is Monday evening. All those politicians that have campaigned on reigning in federal spending and doing something about the national debt now have a chance to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. How many do you think will actually follow through? Will our two senators from the Old North State, Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, back up their campaign trail speeches with real action?
We’ll be paying attention to which senators reveal a spine, or lack thereof, when it comes to balancing budgets and working to ensure our children and grandchildren are not saddled with trillions in debt because of our unwillingness to derail runaway government spending.