Some Friendly Advice for Speaker McCarthy and the Freedom Caucus

Right now the new GOP House of Representatives is on the side of the angels!  Our national debt stands at over $31 trillion and is growing rapidly.  The deficit for Fiscal 2022 was $1.4 trillion.  Under President Biden in the last two years alone, the debt has increased by $3.7 trillion. This is the height of fiscal irresponsibility and the GOP House wants to stop it.  Absolutely excellent as far as it goes!  Just don’t forget that the $31.4 trillion debt limit will have to be raised before default occurs.

Please, Freedom Caucus, don’t squander this unique opportunity you now have to address the debt problem.  It is critical for you to keep the overwhelmingly favorable public opinion you now have on your side.  There are certain actions that will work and others that won’t.  For example:

  • What won’t work.  Do not insist on balancing the budget over a ten-year period with just spending cuts.  Even including all spending categories (such as defense, entitlements, etc.) a 26% overall spending cut over ten years would be necessary.  Exempting defense and entitlements would require much steeper cuts in all other programs and this will be unacceptable to most Americans.

  • What will work. The best idea that the new GOP House has is to return to “regular order,” under which spending bills for the various federal government agencies are developed in a bipartisan fashion at the committee level, with overall spending limits determined by the budget committee.  This gives the various committees, each controlled by a Republican majority, an opportunity to carefully review the operations of each federal agency and whack off the unnecessary, bloated spending that has accumulated over the years.

  • Here’s another idea. The House needs to establish and maintain credibility with the public that it understands the necessity of raising the debt limit in the next few months.  How about passing a bill to raise the debt limit by $1 trillion (or enough to get through the current fiscal year ending on September 30, 2023)?  This would allow time for the House standing committees to prepare spending bills for FY 2023/24 and send them to the Senate before the end of the current fiscal year.  It would reinforce the needed credibility for the House Republicans, including reasonable overall spending limits.  This is what is so badly needed to start reducing annual deficits and put the U.S. on a credible path to solving the debt problem.

Conclusion.  More power to the new Republican House of Representatives!  With a debt limit staring us in the face, and the full attention of the voting public, you have a unique opportunity to address our horrendous national debt problem.   Don’t blow it.  There are very responsible and useful steps you can take to move the process forward (as described above).  Most Americans want you to succeed in getting this done!

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