Budget Office issued a sobering report last week showing that federal debt,
already more than $7 trillion, will increase $2.4 trillion by the end of this
decade. The single-year deficit for 2004 will be nearly $500 billion.
spending frenzy of the last few years is well documented, but these latest
figures have congressional Republicans and the White House scrambling to
figuring out how to explain the budget mess to voters in November.
Having abandoned even the limited government rhetoric of the Reagan and
Gingrich years, mainstream Republicans now must attempt to out-pander the
Democrats. The Medicare bill is clear evidence of this.
conservatives have criticized Mr. Bush’s spending requests, but their
votes don’t always match their words. True fiscal conservatives in
Congress have only one choice: Vote NO on all spending bills, especially the
13 annual appropriations bills. This is the only honest measure of
whether any member of Congress truly wants smaller government.
It’s galling to hear members who voted for the Medicare bill and huge
increases in 2004 agency budgets complain about excessive spending.
Already, the $400
billion price tag attached to the new Medicare drug bill has been exposed as
a predictable lie. Just one month after passage of the bill, the White
House admits the cost may be one-third higher, roughly $540 billion.
Yet even this bait-and-switch tactic is deceptive, because independent groups
estimate the true cost of the Medicare bill will be one trillion dollars over
Even in the midst
of this flood of red ink, the president is busy finding programs to
expand. He plans to increase funding for the rotten National Endowment
for the Arts by $20 million in 2005, while expanding the space program to
make trips to Mars and the moon that will cost hundreds of billions. Of
course NASA and the NEA represent very small slivers of the annual budget,
but the dollar amounts are far less important than the tone set by the
president. The White House wants to pretend that deficits don’t
matter, that more revenues will materialize in the future, and that burdening
our grandchildren to win votes today is morally acceptable.
Faced with a
severe budget crisis, the federal government should do what any family or
business would do in similar circumstances: drastically reduce spending and
sell off assets. It is preposterous that the federal budget has more
than doubled just since 1990, and surely the republic would survive a return
to 1995 or 2000 spending levels. Furthermore, the government owns
trillions of dollars worth of land and other assets, assets that should be
sold to pay off the mounting national debt. Why should additional debt
and new taxes be forced upon the American people to pay for government sins,
especially when the spendthrift politicians have substantial assets at their
incapable of austerity measures for a very simple reason: the money it spends
belongs to others. Unless and until federal politicians are voted out
of office for their sins, we can only expect the spending, borrowing, taxing,
and printing of fiat money to continue.
other articles by Ron Paul
Ron Paul of Texas enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for
liberty in politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington
for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return
to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. For more
information click on the Project Freedom website.
with the authorization of Dr. Paul.
Dr. Ron Paul