Republican budget cut plan insufficient, would worsen debt
Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 23, 2012 21:09
Recently, much debate has been made about the Republicans’ proposed budget and the cuts it may entail. The Democrats claim that the plan cuts too many essential services while Republicans claim the country will collapse without the cuts. However, the fact is that the Republican cuts are woefully insufficient. Furthermore, the “cuts” aren’t really cuts in spending at all, and do nothing to decrease the skyrocketing national debt. The debt matters more than the actual spending rate because of the financial risk it presents. Once other nations decide they will no longer let the United States accumulate unlimited debt, the economy will collapse. Americans need to right the ship before that happens.
Look at the facts. The national debt is money America spends but doesn’t have. To get that money, the government borrows it from other countries, mainly China. The change in debt on a yearly basis is either a deficit, if the debt increases, or a surplus, if the debt decreases. There is still a significant deficit, even with the Republican “cuts”, so the debt is still rapidly increasing. Not only that, the deficit is still increasing. This means that not only are we accumulating debt, but we are accumulating it faster than we were before. The only thing the Republican “cuts” actually cut is the rate at which the deficit is increasing, but not the rate of debt increase.
Unfortunately, this country will soon be headed for financial ruin if it does not balance its budget. There are simple cuts that could easily accomplish this feat. Unfortunately, neither party is willing to make them.
Over the last ten years, federal spending on illegal, interventionist wars in the Middle East averaged $320 billion annually. If the government simply brought all the troops home and didn’t fight any wars, this spending could be easily eliminated.
Furthermore, Citizens Against Government Waste estimates that Congress spent $3.3 billion on “pork barrel” earmarks in fiscal year 2012. These earmarks were almost entirely unnecessary or excessive and served no purpose other than pandering constituents of the proposing Congressmen. For instance, unspecified “ongoing projects” for flood control received a total of $111 million in federal funding in 2012. Since 1996, flood control has received $523 million worth of earmarks. This funding appears to be very excessive, and the lack of specifications is suspiciously telling. This spending could easily be reduced without much harm. So could the $5 million for the International Fisheries Commission, the $3.3 million to build new fish hatcheries, and the $5 million to promote abstinence education. In fact, almost all pork barrel earmarks could be drastically reduced or eliminated, cutting billions of dollars from the budget.
America can no longer continue to accumulate debt at the present rate. At some point in the future, China and other lenders will refuse to lend any more money. When this happens, this country will be in deep trouble.
In 2010, CAGW released the “Chinese Professor” television ad, which rivaled previous political ads such as “Daisy Girl” and “Morning in America,” according to James Fallows, a columnist for “The Atlantic”. The ad takes place in a history class at Beijing University in the year 2030. The professor lectures about great nations who eventually failed. He lists the Greeks, the Romans, the British Empire, and finally the United States. What all these nations have in common, the professor said, is that they “turned their backs on the principles that made them great.” He explains how America tried to spend itself out of a recession, using stimulus spending, universal healthcare, and government bailouts, all of which are implied to have failed miserably.
The professor then mentions that America accumulated massive debt during that time, and since China owned most of that debt, “now, they work for us.” This last line should send chills down the spine of any American.
Sadly, that scary scenario could be a very harsh reality in a few years if America does not drastically reduce its spending. America needs to make massive cuts to spending and balance the federal budget, not just make tiny drops in the bucket like the Republicans are proposing. Both parties will have to make cuts to some of their sacred cows – the Democrats must admit Medicare and ObamaCare need to be cut, and the Republicans need to accept large cuts to defense. Both parties need to end their absurdly excessive earmarks. Otherwise, the Chinese Professor ad may become a reality.