in Washington DC can a spending increase be called a spending cut-- but
that’s exactly what happened last week. Congress passed a budget
bill that merely slows the rate at which some federal spending grows by a
tiny percentage, and both parties acted as though a revolution had taken
trumpeted the measure as a huge victory for fiscal conservatism, while
Democrats were enraged by the supposed “slashing” of government programs.
The uproar shows just how entrenched the spending culture has become on
Capitol Hill-- even insignificant reductions in the rate of growth in federal
spending are seen as earth-shattering. But if we’re really
serious about cutting federal spending, why not simply cut 10% from the 2006
same Republicans claiming victory for slowing spending next year also passed
the Medicare prescription drug bill, which will add over $50 billion to the
federal budget in 2006 alone! In just one year the Medicare bill adds
ten times in new spending what the budget bill purportedly cuts. So
nobody who voted for the Medicare drug bill has any business talking about
government spending. Neither do those who refuse to consider cutting
one penny from the military and foreign aid budgets. You cannot conduct
a foreign policy based on remaking whole nations using military force and
pretend to operate a frugal government.
The Democrats, by
contrast, never want to cut spending on anything, no matter how much the
federal budget grows-- and it’s doubled in 15 years. A $2.4
trillion federal budget is woefully inadequate in their eyes, and ten years
from now they’ll say the same thing about a $5 trillion budget.
No amount of spending will ever satisfy those who believe government should
address every human problem and involve itself in every aspect of our lives.
The budget bill
fails to address the root of the spending problem--this belief that Congress
continually must create new federal programs and agencies. However,
with the federal government’s unfunded liabilities-- Social Security,
Medicare, and Medicaid-- projected to reach as much as $50 trillion by the
end of this year, Congress no longer can avoid serious efforts to rein in
spending. Instead of a smoke-and-mirrors approach, Congress should begin the
journey toward fiscal responsibility by declaring a ten percent reduction in
real spending, followed by a renewed commitment to fund only those government
functions that are consistent with the Constitution.
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