Mr. President, Do NOT Give Congress a $2 TRILLION Blank Check!
With Congress returning to Washington next week after a month off, reports indicate that certain members of the Trump Administration want to raise the debt ceiling without passing critically necessary spending reforms or including items vital to our national security. In fact, reports indicate the outlines of a deal already in the works: a $2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling, with no future spending reductions or spending reforms – the so-called “clean” debt ceiling increase – combined with a three-month Continuing Resolution, with no funding for President Trump’s border wall. That deal, if it happens, will be a huge blow to conservatives’ expectations. And it will be a direct repudiation of voters’ wishes – a recent poll showed that American voters, by 57-20 percent, reject a hike in the debt ceiling. That is simply unacceptable. Mr. President, the American people elected you to drain the swamp, not hand Congress a $2 trillion blank check to run up our debt – that is the definition of swamp politics!
Back in 2011, when the Democrats controlled the White House and the Senate, conservatives managed to get a deal that reduced future spending by $2.1 trillion in exchange for raising the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion. So, even with President Obama in the White House and Democrats then in control of the Senate, conservatives got a dollar-for-dollar match between the debt ceiling increase and the spending reduction.
So what should President Trump do? In exchange for his signature on a bill to raise the debt ceiling, he should insist that Congress finally pass some spending reforms to balance our budget in five years and demand they fund the border wall, one of his biggest promises to the American people during the last campaign.
Tea Party Patriots has long supported the Penny Plan to balance our budget in five years. What is the Penny Plan? It is also sometimes called “The One Percent Solution” and it is very simple: the Penny Plan would require the federal government to spend just one penny less next year out of every dollar spent this year. If the federal government were to stick to that plan for five years and limit overall spending to 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product (the average in the post-war era), we could balance the budget in five years.
We believe the Penny Plan is a simple, commonsense way to balance our budget in five years. It is easy to explain because it makes sense to Americans who are responsible for balancing their own checkbooks, but it is not the only way to balance the budget in five years. President Trump should insist that any legislation raising the debt limit should include a plan to balance our budget in five years or less – whether that is the Penny Plan or another option – because Congress has had years to get our fiscal house in order but never does. Part of draining the swamp is imposing fiscal discipline on Congress after years of reckless spending and the president will have maximum leverage with his signature required for increasing the debt ceiling.
Border Wall Funding
One of the biggest promises President Trump made to the American people was his call to secure our southern border by building a wall. Democrats and some Republicans have tried to stand in the way of President Trump delivering on this critical promise and he should insist they start moving on his agenda after months of stalling over issues like repealing ObamaCare, passing a tax cut for the American people and confirming judges who will interpret our Constitution as our Founding Fathers intended. President Trump should announce he will not sign a debt ceiling increase unless Congress gets serious about national security and passes funding for the border wall.
If this deal goes through as reported, it will mean that elections have no consequences. This debt ceiling/C.R.“deal” means that there is a total divorce between the consent of the governed (as expressed through election results) and the policies enacted by our elected leaders. When American voters are promised fiscal discipline and restraint and vote for that vision, but then are forced to accept the exact opposite, the underlying problem is far more serious than a fiscal matter. We are witnessing the wholesale rejection of one of the most fundamental ideas of the American experiment in self-governance – to wit, the idea that citizens could direct (through elections, chiefly) the decisions of our elected officials. Republicans, as fluent in political double-speak as their Democrat colleagues, are busy explaining away the debt ceiling increase as the responsible thing to do. Americans know better.
We can walk away from the fiscal cliff. It will require great resolve and fiscal discipline, but it is possible. We urge the President and Congress to work together to address the nation’s long-term debt, and pass legislation to increase the debt ceiling only if that legislation includes in it significant spending reform, such as balancing the budget in 5 years or less, and provides funding for the border wall. Sign our Debt Ceiling petition to let President Trump and his team know you agree with us!