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If the Senate, as expected, passed the debt ceiling compromise Tuesday, a plan that easily passed the House Monday, Congress will have passed the largest debt limit increase in U.S. history.
And this is controlling spending?
That’s the way, apparently, the federal government sees it—including Congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Robert Hurt.
Their cute name for it: the Budget Control Act.
Spending cuts included this year in the legislation—a whopping $20 billion. Next year, let’s add another $40 billion.
Supposedly the legislation will call for close to $1 trillion over the next 10 years. Of course it will only take a few months to raise the federal debt by that much. Then Congress and the President will have to enact spending cuts as large as any additional increase to the debt ceiling.
We’ll see. Most likely more smoke and mirrors will be used. The projected debt ceiling increase over the next 10 years: $7 trillion.
The federal government just can’t help itself: It’s spend now and worry about paying for it later.
This week’s legislation passed by a bipartisan vote of 269-161 in the House. It was expected to get similar support in the Senate.
The hook that led some Republican congressmen to vote in favor of it was that the plan requires that both the House and the Senate vote, by the end of the year, on a balanced budget Constitutional amendment.
Good luck with that. And with the supposed agreement that taxes won’t be raised. You can bet a plan will be put in place to “increase revenue.”
“Passage of a balanced budget Constitutional Amendment is the kind of fundamental reform that the federal government so desperately needs,” stated Goodlatte, in explaining his support. “ It is the only way to ensure that any cuts that are made today don’t easily disappear tomorrow. The overwhelming majority of the American people not only support this Constitutional amendment but understand the need for it.”
The people may want it, but it’s not likely to get by the spend-happy legislators in D.C. Stated Goodlatte: “With 49 out of 50 state governments, including Virginia, required to balance their state budgets, people are amazed that the federal government is not restrained in this way and strongly support a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. After all, living within your means is a concept that most Americans are all too familiar with and they expect nothing less from the federal government.”
True. So why does Congress continue to feed the beast?
Hurt, who rode the wave of Tea Party sentiment into Congress in 2010, had this to say: “This plan is not the final solution to our debt crisis, but it implements historic spending reforms that actually shrink the size and scope of the federal government ... This plan is not perfect, but is a step in the right direction to move an inflexible Washington towards accepting true spending reforms and forcing the government to live within its means so that we can get our fiscal house in order to help grow the economy and create jobs ...”
We’ll see. The total debt of the federal government hit $2.4 trillion in November 1987. This week Congress was set to approve that much of an increase at one time.
The proposal smells more like a plan that allowed everyone to save face and claim victory. The debt is increased again and the folks who have to pay for it will be the ones who eventually suffer the consequences.