Time to Correct Reagan’s Biggest Mistake
The debate on whether Congress should raise the debt ceiling is heating up in Washington as the US government approaches its borrowing limit. It is time for the GOP to take a stand and simply say no to any more borrowing. Not just no, but HELL NO! And in so doing, they must correct Ronald Reagan’s mistake of agreeing to $1 in tax increases in exchange for $3 of future spending cuts from the Democratic Congress. Thirty years after Reagan made that deal, we are still waiting for those spending cuts to materialize. The federal budget was approximately $500 billion when Reagan agreed to that promise in 1981; the federal budget in 2011 is close to $4 trillion. Enough is enough.
Refusing to extend the debt ceiling emphatically does not mean that the US Government defaults on its debt. As Senator Pat Toomey has noted,
“about 6.5% of all projected federal government expenditures will go to interest on our debt, and tax revenue is projected to cover about 67% of all government expenditures. With roughly 10 times more income than needed to honor our debt obligations, why would we ever default?
Indeed. Senator Toomey and Representative Tom McClintock have introduced companion bills in the House and Senate entitled the “Full Faith and Credit Act,” S163 and HR421. New Jersey’s own fiscally conservative champion, Scott Garrett, is a co-sponsor of the House bill. The bill would force the federal government to prioritize payment of debt obligations first, thereby ensuring that no default would occur. In so doing, the bills would force Congress to face the issue of spending cuts now rather than at some unspecified future date.
Americans For Prosperity publicly supports this legislation. So does Conservative stalwart Jim DeMint. Even Ben Bernanke supports it - although that is admittedly not the best of endorsements. Other economists from the Heritage Foundation, Hoover Institution and others also support this legislation.
It is time to stop waiting for future spending cuts to materialize. It is time to stop accepting promises of future spending cuts as a substitute for real, actual spending cuts today. It is time to start paying down the debt and cut government spending - not continue to authorize more and more deficit financed spending by the government. We have waited long enough for Tip O’Neill and the rest of Congress to keep the promise of future spending cuts.
Congress: Vote NO on raising the debt ceiling. Vote YES on the Full Faith and Credit Act.