Jenny Beth’s Journal: House GOP should create and pass a rescission package
To make up for the passage of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, House Republicans are planning to pass a balanced budget amendment that would actually make things even worse. While their goal is to demonstrate fiscal responsibility — one of the main reasons why House Republicans hold the majority in the first place — Goodlatte’s balanced budget amendment doesn’t contain a simple spending limitation provision. If they really want to demonstrate fiscal discipline, they should throw out the amendment and call for rescissions of wasteful and unnecessary funds.
We shouldn’t spend money we don’t have. When we do, we borrow from current lenders with a promise to pay them back with taxes taken from future generations who were never asked if they’d be willing to lend the money in the first place. That’s not borrowing. That’s stealing. And it’s wrong.
But the problem with Goodlatte’s amendment is that it does nothing to prevent tax increases as a means to eliminate the deficit. As any congressional intern could tell you, there are two ways to eliminate a deficit: cut spending or raise taxes. Given Washington’s history of failure at actually cutting spending, which do you think would be more likely?
Worse, if this particular amendment were ever to be added to the Constitution, I’d be willing to bet my last dollar that some left-wing group somewhere would bring a legal challenge before a left-wing judge, demanding a tax increase to eliminate the deficit, and that judge would likely agree. So we’d end up with unelected judges dictating tax increases.
If House Republicans want to demonstrate their fiscal discipline bona fides, there’s a much better way of doing it by rescinding funds they just voted to appropriate. The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending party was a disgrace. The least Congress can do is take some of the spending back.
They could start by rescinding the $500 million appropriated for Planned Parenthood, or the $50 million appropriated to fund international family planning, or billions in foreign aid, including $200 million for promoting democracy in Europe, or the additional $2.4 billion appropriated for Community Development Block Grants, or the additional $1 billion appropriated for the transportation project grant program inaugurated by President Obama’s “stimulus” package, or, well, you get the idea.
We put these Republican lawmakers in office to rein in the out-of-control spending and they could in danger of losing the chamber in November if they don’t keep their campaign promises. In order to maintain power on the hill and take advantage of the opportunities that will make a difference, Republican lawmakers need to make better-calculated decisions like rescinding unnecessary funds. It’s time for some real fiscal responsibility!