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Shrink the Budget: Part One

US Capital bacground of cash
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never miss viewpointsKerby Anderson

The Federal government has a spending problem. That is best illustrated by the fact that the deficit this fiscal year will be $2 trillion. The accumulated national debt from George Washington to President Reagan was $1 trillion. This year we will accumulate twice as much debt in one year as was accumulated in the first 200 years of this country.

Stephen Moore reminds us that Congress just passed a bipartisan agreement to spend an additional $95 billion on foreign aid. Not one penny of that was being paid for by offsetting spending cuts. He has four ideas on how to shrink the budget.

The first suggestion is presidential impoundment authority. Just because Congress authorizes spending shouldn’t mean that the president always must spend it. The president, just like a CEO, should have the power to suspend spending on programs. Presidents from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln to Franklin Delano Roosevelt have used that authority. He also mentions Richard Nixon, but he was prevented from doing this effectively because the Supreme Court ruled against him. That will probably have to be revisited.

The second suggestion is to require a super-majority vote to raise taxes. It is unlikely Congress will ever pass a balanced budget amendment. But it might pass a law requiring bipartisan support for raising taxes. The current president wants to increase taxes without any spending cuts. Clearly, we don’t have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. By the way, raising more taxes to balance the budget never has worked. Once more revenue comes to the government, politicians find more ways to spend it.

Tomorrow we will look at two more ways to shrink the federal budget. We need to do something to bring fiscal sanity to our government.viewpoints new web version

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