WASHINGTON, DC – Although a lot of politicians in Washington are talking about making significant cuts in the future, not many are putting forth any actual, concrete steps to cut spending – not in the coming decade and particularly not next year’s 2012 budget, which is the only budget year to which this Congress can legally bind the country.
The vague suggestions of “a plan” coming out of the reunited Gang of 6 is merely a framework for creating a plan, and that is precisely why it should be dumped, says policy analyst David Addington, VP of Domestic and Economic policy at the Heritage Foundation.
“Today Senator Conrad, ND, said that we should take what was announced yesterday, and then it could be worked into a debt limit increase,” said Addington on the Scott Hennen Show this afternoon. “What you end up with is President Obama getting the tax hikes and the borrowing increases that he wants, but there is really nothing in the way of getting federal spending under control, which has got to be the objective.”
Addington contends that both the Gang of Six plan as well as the McConnell and McConnell-Reid plans do not adequately address the problems of our national debt and runaway deficit spending, saying that all of them are the same political gimmickry that make only minor changes now and in exchange only promise to implement tougher decisions down the road.
“The time has come, with this country $14.294 trillion in the hole – money we have borrowed and already spent – in that situation, the time to act is now. They should not raise the debt limit unless they get spending under control,” Addington stated.
“Senator Conrad bears an awful lot of responsibility for this bad idea,” Addington continued. “When this plan says we are going to have taxes, those are coming out of the Conrad sub-committee.”
In order to take real steps to improve the country’s economy, Addington called the necessary steps “very clear”: drive down federal spending; drive down federal borrowing; preserve national defense; and not raise taxes.
The one plan that includes these measures is the cut-cap-and-balance plan, although Addington notes that plan does make some cuts in military budgets.
“For anybody to say well, we are going to go ahead and increase borrowing, and we are going to take care of getting spending under control later – that’s what people have been saying in Washington for thirty years,” Addington told listeners. “We need to take the action now to cut spending.”
National Spending Deficits by Year: