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Issue Position: Budgets, Debt and Deficits

Issue Position

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Our nation now has a $13 trillion national debt with a trillion-dollar annual deficit. Under Nancy Pelosi's speakership, there is no end in sight to this unsustainable spending. We must overthrow this Speaker and remake Congress with leaders who are committed to sound fiscal policies, reduced federal spending, and a balanced budget.

Speaker Pelosi believes that we can "spend our way out of the recession." I believe the opposite is true. Today's outrageous level of federal spending is crowding out the private credit that small businesses need to function and grow. The uncertainty of an ever-growing tax burden is keeping private investment on the sidelines. And the constant attempts to add to the tax rates of those who are successful creates a disincentive for entrepreneurial growth.

We need to restore predictability to our tax policy and restraint to our spending patterns. I will support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution that will require Congress to balance our income with our spending. I have seen our balanced budget requirement work in the state legislature and it will work in Congress -- forcing the legislative body to make choices naturally produces more sound fiscal outcomes.

Until we get a balanced budget amendment, Congress should consider a roll back of federal spending to the levels in the FY2008 budget. That budget sure wasn't perfect or balanced, going back to at least that level and undoing the spending spree of the last year would be a good start to getting us back on track.

To solve our long-term budget problems, Congress needs to fix some of its own structural problems -- the lack of transparency in the budget process and the auto-pilot provisions that increase entitlement spending without any vote in Congress. It's also time to put an end to accounting tricks that base Congressional budgets on assumptions that don't square with the real world. For example, we know that across-the-board tax cuts stimulate economic activity and thereby generate government revenue that comes with growth; we have to end the process of static scoring of tax cuts that undersell their long-range value. By the same token, we shouldn't allow charades like the assumptions in President Obama's health care plan that assumed questionable downstream "savings" and thereby masked the true cost of his scheme to the government.

By putting conservative fiscal principles in place throughout our entire budget process, and by making private-sector economic growth our lead objective, we can get federal spending under control and get our budget back on track. Here too the Heritage Foundation provides a wealth of information on this subject: http://www.heritage.org/research/budget/index.cfm.


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