02.14.2011 0

House Budget Cuts a Tribute to New Members

2011 House Republican Freshmen

By Bill Wilson

When House Republicans released their campaign promises for the 2010 election, they wrote they would “roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt”.

The clock is ticking and the House Republicans have taken a first big step toward achieving $100 billion in federal government spending cuts over the next year, and this achievement is a tribute to the new House Republicans who demanded that the Republican Appropriators go back to the drawing board and double the number of cuts first proposed.

The reason this is only a first step, and not the victory lap that some are proclaiming, is that as Human Events reports, the actual cuts to current spending in the Continuing Resolution (CR) are only $59 billion against the actual spending. While some are measuring the cuts against Obama’s proposed budget that never passed into law, this sleight of hand is not really necessary.

Republicans do reach the $100 billion in cuts over a year, if they keep the level of spending in the CR in next year’s budget, netting more than $160 billion in cuts to discretionary spending over the next nineteen months.

We can anticipate that those who feed at the public trough will be out in force denouncing these cuts as draconian, but the real draconian situation faces this country if we don’t make the cuts.

Let’s put the $59 billion in real cuts over the next seven months into perspective.

Our nation faces a projected $1.5 trillion deficit this year alone. That means that each month, our federal government spends $125 billion more than it takes in.

When you do the math, these so-called draconian cuts of $59 billion in this Continuing Resolution only balance the budget for a grand total of 14 days out 365,

That’s why the freshman Republicans who were elected on the promise to get our fiscal house in order need to be praised and encouraged to push further and harder to get spending under control.

No one expects the Harry Reid controlled Senate to roll over on these cuts that impact their biggest campaign givers – public employee unions. But House Republicans need to stand firm, demand that the cuts be made, and if the Senate would rather have the government go out of business rather than face this threat to our nation, so be it. Better the short term pain of these relatively minor cuts, than the long term disaster of having our nation dominated by our Chinese lenders.

14 days of a balanced budget out of 365 should not be too much to ask, and if Republicans don’t stand firm for these relatively small cuts, it is hard to imagine our national leaders demonstrating the will to tackle the massive non-discretionary overspending that is the only way back to fiscal health.

Our best hope is that the newly elected Republicans have shown a willingness to use their numbers to force real change, and that truly deserves applause.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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