The Republican House of Representatives and the Democratic Senate have each in the past few days issued 10 year budget proposals. The Heritage Foundation has neatly and dramatically summarized the huge differences between these two budgets and the visions they convey for the future of our country in the coming years.
By limiting the growth of spending to 3.4% per year for the next ten years, the Republican budget shows that it will be possible to shrink the deficit down to zero by 2023 and restore the sound fiscal policies which have guided our country for most of its history. On the contrary, the Democratic budget projects 5% increases in spending for the next ten years and ends the next decade with annual deficits in the neighborhood of $600 billion.
In other words, a little bit of fiscal restraint, i.e. holding year-to-year spending increases to 3.4%, is all that it will take to get the U.S. back on a sound fiscal track. What is so difficult about achieving such a common sense approach to budgeting? If the Obama administration, or perhaps the Senate majority, wants to start new programs on early childhood education or green energy research, for example, then all it has to do is reduce spending elsewhere in the federal budget now approaching $4 trillion annually.
Fundamentally, in the final analysis, adopting a reasonable budget and sticking to it, is a moral issue. Living within one’s means is such basic and transparently obvious good sense that the advocates of such a policy will ultimately prevail. For the time being at least, the Democrats are ceding the high ground to the Republicans.