CCAGW Supports Boehner’s Budget Control Act | Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Supports Boehner’s Budget Control Act

The WasteWatcher

With the clock ticking and the nation’s economic future hanging in the balance, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) urged all members of Congress to support House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) Budget Control Act of 2011.  The Congressional Budget Office found that the Budget Control Act would reduce the deficit by $22 billion in fiscal year 2012 and $917 billion over 10 years, which is greater than the $900 billion debt ceiling increase.

The bill also establishes a spending cap, requires Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment before any additional debt limit increase, and creates a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to provide recommendations for further deficit reduction and fundamental tax and entitlement reform.

Most importantly, this plan will force members of Congress to take another vote on the debt limit in approximately six months, keeping the heat on members to achieve real, substantial spending cuts. President Obama has openly admitted, “the only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013.” While the President has blatantly telegraphed that he cares only about his own reelection and dodging responsibility for the nation’s fiscal issues, Speaker Boehner has crafted a plan that will ensure lawmakers remain accountable for their actions, instead of simply giving our elected officials a pass as the President has requested.

CCAGW has consistently supported much larger spending reductions than those included in the Budget Control Act.  In an ideal world, the House-passed Cut, Cap and Balance plan would already be the law of the land.  However, President Obama and the Senate have failed to lead, so action must be taken.  There is no other viable alternative; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) plan is chock full of accounting gimmicks to slash a fictional $2 trillion, including grossly overestimated discretionary spending cuts and roughly $1 trillion in savings tied to ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While no one knows exactly what will occur if Congress fails to increase the debt ceiling, everyone concedes that the consequences will not be constructive for the nation.  Taxpayers also comprehend that those who seek to put the brakes on the spending spree in Washington have already won the debate; the question is how much will be cut and how fast it will occur.

It is not possible to get somewhere by going nowhere.  Without setting the process in motion to cut the deficit and debt, there is no chance that future efforts will bear fruit.  Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute points out, “if the speaker’s proposal is enacted, there will be an opportunity to observe its success. If the framework of spending cuts for debt-limit hikes works, by legislative, economic, and political standards, Congress could tighten the screws further in the next debt-limit fight and do it again and again until a balanced budget is achieved.”

Failure to advance the ball simply yields the field to those who keep pushing their plan to massively raise taxes.  That idea will continue to be unacceptable to taxpayers, who know that overspending is the problem. CCAGW sympathizes with the objections of members who believe the Budget Control Act is insufficient.  However, Congress cannot take the necessary steps toward getting the nation’s finances under control in the future unless this bill is passed.

Christopher P. Ryan

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