Congressman Ron Paul, R-Texas, says merely scaling back to 2008 spending levels is nowhere near enough to fix the massive government debt problems.
“As Milton Friedman famously argued, what we really need is a constitutional amendment to limit taxes and spending, not simply to balance the budget,” Paul said in a speech to the House of Representatives made prior to the vote on the “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill.
The bill passed the House 234-190, but President Barack Obama has said he will veto it if it clears the Senate and reaches his desk.
What is needed is a dramatically smaller federal government, says Paul.
“If we achieve this, a balanced budget will take care of itself,” he says. "We need to cut back at least to where spending was a decade ago."
Paul says the bill sanctions the status quo by putting forth a $1 trillion budget deficit and authorizing a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt limit, purporting to eventually balance the budget without cutting military spending, Social Security, or Medicare.
“These three budget items already cost nearly $1 trillion apiece annually,” Paul points out. “This means we can cut every other area of federal spending to zero and still have a $3 trillion budget.”
“Since annual federal tax revenues almost certainly will not exceed $2.5 trillion for several years, this Act cannot balance the budget under any plausible scenario.”
"Why has our budget doubled in 10 years?” asks Paul. “This country doesn't have double the population, or double the land area, or double anything that would require the federal government to grow by such an obscene amount."
Moreover, Paul says, the legislation “further entrenches the ludicrous beltway concept of discretionary vs. nondiscretionary spending,” justifies exceptions to its spending caps in the name of a global war on terror, and ignores the real issue, which he defines as the total spending by government.
ABC News reports that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says “Cut, Cap and Balance” is a “win-win situation for all parties — with the president getting his debt limit increase and Congress getting its spending cuts and long-term reforms to put the country on a path toward fiscal security.”
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