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Budgets: Getting It Right!

April 4, 2016

We hear a lot about balanced budgets these days but how many understand the true importance of having one?  Budgets identify spending priorities -- whether it’s for our families or the government.  Budgets are meant to keep us on track, eliminate frivolous spending, and to assist in managing limited funds.  The problem is, some in Congress don’t seem to realize the funds are limited!  It’s not their money, it’s ours and they have an insatiable thirst for spending it! We’re trillions in debt – that’s 12 zeros ($19,000,000,000,000)!

The Congress has demonstrated a total inability – or lack of desire – to come to grips with the problem.  They continue to spend, increase taxes, borrow more and then the cycle repeats itself.  This kind of behavior is no longer tolerable!

The current House Republican budget proposal increases spending by $50 billion over last year’s proposal. Fortunately conservative members like Brat (R-VA) and Stutzman (R-IN) were able to defeat the bill in committee. This set the stage for others to signal displeasure resulting in Majority Leader McCarthy (R-CA) indefinitely delaying the proposal’s consideration. 

This delay gives true conservative Members of Congress an opportunity to finally get things right this year.  But it will be an uphill battle, here’s why.  There are those who have projects which are not founded in the constitution.  As a result the Congressional leadership “bundles” funding measures so members need to vote for it in order to get what they want while holding their noses over the other things bundled with it.  Last year’s omnibus spending bill is an example.  Many Congressmen, including those from Texas, voted for the bill because it brought more resources to the military.  But at the same time, they broke multiple campaign promises to never vote to fund ObamaCare – they fully funded it!

We believe there is a solution, but it will take the support of more than just a small contingent within the Congress.  There needs to be the will to set priorities and then to stick to them.  For example, we need to fully fund the military and the intelligence services while rooting out misspending.  We should drastically cut EPA and the Departments of Education and Energy, and other non-constitutionally-based funding while reining in regulatory overreach. 

We need to address an overburdening taxation climate that drives businesses overseas.  But perhaps even more importantly the total federal spending must be reduced -- not just reducing the yearly increases -- while chipping away at the national debt.  If we fail to deal with this problem head on we most assuredly will find ourselves in the same shoes as Greece.

The Heritage Foundation and Republican Study Committees have produced different blueprints for getting our nation out of the funding quagmire we find ourselves in. Only time will tell whether Speaker Ryan and his team will choose to continue spending money we don’t have or go back and do what the voters sent them to Washington to do… cut spending and to get us back on a sound financial footing.

Bill, Mark, and John

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