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Posts Tagged ‘fiscal policy’

Spending Freeze Not Likely

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Texas Straight Talk – A weekly column
Rep. Ron Paul (R) – TX 14

Last week politicians in Washington made a few things clear about how they really feel about the state of the union. First, they are beginning to hear the growing discontent with the size and scope of government and the broken promises that keep piling up. Certain events in Massachusetts recently made that statement loud, clear and unavoidable. In the face of those events, the powers that be made the determination that some populist rhetoric was in order, and the idea of a spending freeze in Washington was proposed, albeit with several caveats. These caveats to the proposed spending freeze ensure that we are not at any real risk of actually doing anything about spending.

First of all is timing. It wouldn’t go into effect until 2011, which allows plenty of time to increase spending levels quite a bit before they are frozen. If the administration really understood and cared about our spending problems they would not freeze spending a year from now, but cut spending immediately and significantly. But, spending cuts almost never happen in Washington, and they are not likely now or a year from now – if the politicians have anything to say about it.

The second caveat is the huge areas of the budget that are shielded from this freeze. The entire State Department budget is exempt, as are all entitlements, all military industrial spending and almost all foreign aid. Fully 7/8 of federal spending is excluded from this freeze, and some areas to be frozen were actually set to decrease, which means a freeze actually guarantees a higher level of spending.

Especially insulting is the idea that in spite of our own fiscal problems at home, taxpayer dollars will continue to be sent overseas in the form of foreign aid where it often does more harm than good. When need is demonstrated to Americans and they can afford it, they can be counted on for a tremendous outpouring of private, voluntary charity to worthy aid organizations, as we recently saw in Haiti. By contrast, government-to-government aid is taken from the poor by force and too often enriches the corrupt. It is counterproductive and wasteful. But the idea of eliminating, freezing, or reducing foreign aid is not up for serious debate any time soon.

The third caveat is what is included in the freeze that would make it politically impossible to pass Congress, for example air traffic controllers salaries, education, farm subsidies and national parks.

I do not necessarily want a cut in spending in this country – I just want to change who does the spending. The spending should be done by the people who earn the money, if they choose, and on what they choose, without any government interference. That is what makes the economy work. Politicians should stick to the very limited roles given them by the constitution instead of allocating such a sizeable portion of our capital and intervening through regulations and tax policy. But because politicians have disregarded the constitution, and the people have no idea what rule they will break next, there is already a very real spending freeze underway in this economy, by the people. If government would stick only to what it was authorized to do, and leave the rest to the people, most of these problems would resolve themselves.

Restore Fiscal Responsibility by Opposing Debt Limit Increases

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Restore Fiscal Responsibility by Opposing Debt Limit Increases

With absolutely no credible plan or process to reduce the national debt being offered by Republicans or Democrats in Congress, the move is still on to increase the statutory debt limit once again so that the federal government’s usual borrowing and spending sprees can continue uninterrupted. This need to raise the debt limit to almost unfathomable heights and so frequently exposes the continuing fiscal irresponsibility of most members of Congress.

The national debt now stands at precisely $12,304,190,796,463 and is climbing rapidly. Over $7 trillion is held by the public (both foreign and domestic investors), and the rest by intragovernment bodies (Click here to see who holds our national debt.). It is now approximately 90 percent of the size of the annual gross domestic product for our nation. Congress is set to begin debate on increasing the debt limit by $1.2 to $1.8 trillion on January 20, significantly adding to the already overly burdensome national debt for generations to come.

Several proposals are in the works to pacify the people into thinking that real deficit reduction is taking place, such as PAYGO and a so-called Safe commission. But the PAYGO system has already proven itself to be easily circumvented or outrightly ignored, while the Safe commission task force is merely a discussion and recommendation panel that would not hold the authority of law.

In order to alleviate the devastating consequences of unsustainable spending, Congress needs to take immediate steps to commit themselves to reduce unconstitutional spending before they continue on with the regular financing of government operations.

You can take action now and let your representatives in Washington know that you are unwilling to destroy future generations’ chances at financial freedom by continuing the very unsound economic policy of increasing indebtedness. Urge your senators and representatives to resist raising the debt limit and then to take action to restore a limited federal government under the Constitution by ending unconstitutional programs.


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