published Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Sen. Corker right on debt

President Barack Obama and many lawmakers in Washington are tying our country in knots with proposals to spend too much, tax too much and add to our national debt. Sen. Bob Corker of Chattanooga has a more sensible view.

He joined 45 other Republicans on Friday in voting for a bill that the U.S. House of Representatives had passed earlier -- a bill that would have cut federal spending, placed real limits on future spending and promoted a constitutional amendment to require balanced budgets.

But on a strict party-line vote, the Senate's Democrat majority killed the bill, 51-46.

That understandably disappointed Corker, who has long pressed for a return to fiscal responsibility in Washington and for similar legislation designed to achieve that goal.

"This bill put on paper what I've been pushing from day one of the 112th Congress," he said in a news release after the Senate vote.

But he is not giving up hope for meaningful legislation.

"Now, more than 814 days since the Senate passed a budget, we must put enforceable limits on all future spending in a way that encourages economic growth and demonstrates to the American people and the world that we will get our debt and deficits under control," he said.

That is a worthy prescription for the United States' debt and the ongoing economic crisis. Regrettably, too few in the Senate share Corker's commonsense plan to try to get the nation to live within its means.

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dfclapp said...

I fully support the philosophy behind Senator Corker's plan and agree that there is unlikely to be the kind of discipline necessary to fully address the problem without it.

However, this freedom to make other decisions is part of the reason we are trying to prevent later generations from being painted into a fiscal corner. It is not a solution to paint them into a legislative corner.

In a recent editorial, a writer from the Concord Coalition noted the following:

By including an arbitrary limit on spending -- 18 percent of GDP -- while also enshrining a super-majority requirement for tax increases, this proposal departs from the broad principle of budget balance.

“The goal of limiting debt can be achieved at any particular size of government and can be implemented through both spending and tax policies. These decisions are best left to the regular legislative process as they may change over time due to circumstances and the will of the people to set priorities,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition.

"The whole point of a balanced budget amendment is to ensure that future generations are free to make their own fiscal decisions. It is inconsistent with that freedom to forever mandate a particular level of spending or to permanently favor spending cuts over revenue increases as the manner of managing these decisions,” Bixby said.

July 23, 2011 at 5:32 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

the only ones who fear a balanced budget ammendment are those who are statists, or those who have no regard for tax payers.

July 23, 2011 at 8:48 a.m.
nucanuck said...

I would like to see Bob Corker address the possible ways to improve the Social Security and Medicare financial structure rather than his obfuscating plans that aim to dismantle them, using debt as an excuse to achieve a social agenda.

No one should argue that US debt is at crisis levels, or that the US is in decline. Fees, eligability requirements and levels of benefits for our two core social programs need to be adjusted to insure sustainability, but Corker and others seem to ignore reform in favor of abolition.

Surely attacking the health and welfare of average Americans is a lower priority than farm subsidies, corporate welfare and out-of-control military spending.

Sparing the entitlement programs at the upper end of society while attacking those programs for those with the least will cause more problems than it could ever cure.

July 23, 2011 at 10:09 a.m.
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