This week, the House passed a bill that cuts $85 billion, delays implementation of Obamacare, and keeps the government funded through the end of the fiscal year. This is a victory for limited government, but there is much work left to do.
The good news is since Republicans took control of the House, we have cut discretionary spending 10%. The bad news is in those same years, mandatory spending has increased 11%. This is like a family cutting down on going out to eat, but spending even more on car payments and a second mortgage. Even if you are cutting from one area, spending is still going up overall.
Mandatory spending occurs automatically and is two thirds of the budget. It includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and welfare programs such as food stamps. Many of these programs are vital to ensuring a safety net for the most vulnerable members of our society, and retirees have paid taxes their entire working lives with the understanding they would receive a certain level of benefits in retirement. However, these programs are growing at an unsustainable rate and, without reform, will bankrupt us. A bankrupt government is not in a good position to help anybody.
Our attention will now turn to the 2014 budget and what we can do to achieve the same success with mandatory spending that we have begun to achieve on the discretionary side. You and I know the budget needs to be balanced and taxes should not be raised in order to do so. The only way to get from the mess we are in now to a balanced budget is addressing mandatory spending.