RSC: advocates for solutions

The Republican Study Committee (of which our Congressman, Andy Harris, is a member) has a new website:

Government red tape costs small businesses on average $10,585 for every single employee. Complying with our incredibly complex federal tax code? That cost Americans $160 billion in 2009, according to one estimate. And every penny increase in gas prices costs consumers – many of them small businesses – a total of $4 million per day. This is money that can’t be used to build a business, hire new workers, or develop new products.

House Republicans are working on all three of these problems. To tackle onerous regulations, we built, a website where small business owners can tell Congress about the red tape that stands in the way of job creation. On taxes, our 2012 budget proposed to simplify the tax code and reduce tax rates without sacrificing revenue. A simplified tax structure will strengthen the private sector’s ability to create jobs and put our economy on more stable ground. And last week RSC members introduced the Consumer Relief for Pain at the Pump Act, a broad plan to increase our supply of North American energy, reduce regulatory burdens, and repeal government policies that artificially inflate the price of gasoline.

The government can take away wealth and prosperity, but it can’t create them. Only the private sector can do that.

Now you know they’re correct in a philosophical sense, and the Congressional remedy for high gasoline prices they prescribe is, on balance, a good piece of legislation. (Many things with the term ‘repeal’ in them are things I tend to favor.)

I suppose the only thing I take issue with is the idea that that reducing tax rates “sacrifices” revenue, considering the government should be paid for by the pleasure of the people, not the other way around. I think the government could run just fine on half of what it takes in, largely by phasing out entitlement programs. (I didn’t say mine was a quick fix.) I think people should plan their lives as if they would retire strictly through their own devices and plan accordingly for those ailments sure to crop up as they age. Obviously those who are above a certain age would need to have the system stay pretty close to status quo, but for those around my age or younger, well, I think we can suck it up a bit.

But the RSC addresses this in part as well. In a letter to House leadership they write:

Dear Mr. Speaker and Mr. Leader,

The fast-approaching debt ceiling vote gives us an opportunity to make a bold statement to the American people about what direction we want our country to go.  Further, given the condition of the country’s finances, it is imperative to the future of the country that we fight for an immediate shift toward fiscal responsibility.  Consider these staggering facts:

  • The debt held by the public has more than doubled in the past 5 years.
  • The interest paid on the debt is currently projected to more than triple over the next 10 years and may alone consume all of our tax revenues by the middle of this century.
  • Several weeks ago, PIMCO, a management company handling $1.2 trillion in assets, dumped all of its U.S. government debt holdings; its cofounder William Gross saying that regardless of borrowing authority, unless spending is curtailed, the government will in essence default on its debt by ‘picking the pocket of savers.’
  • In April, for the first time since 1941, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) revised its outlook on the United States credit rating from stable to negative, citing the fear that Congress will fail to address the nation’s medium- and long-term budgetary challenges.
  • As China considers ceasing its purchase of U.S. debt securities, the International Monetary Fund has forecasted that the size of China’s economy will surpass that of the United States in 2016, effectively ending the ‘Age of America.’

Put in the context of the above facts, we believe the willingness of our conference to pursue bold solutions to Washington’s spending problems can breathe new life into the ‘Age of America’.

We must state unequivocally that we will not vote for a ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase.  We share your belief, as articulated in your speech in New York on May 9th, Mr. Speaker, that if we do not reverse the out-of-control spending that has led us here, it would be grossly irresponsible for us to extend the limit on the national credit card.

We look forward to working together with you and our entire Republican team on developing bold solutions for reducing spending and reforming the way Washington budgets and spends taxpayer dollars.  Following are some solutions that we know will achieve this goal.

  1. Americans deserve immediate spending cuts that demonstrate that we are charting a swift path toward a balanced budget.  We must implement discretionary and mandatory spending reductions that would cut the deficit in half next year.
  2. To ensure that spending cuts continue, we need statutory, enforceable total-spending caps to reduce federal spending to 18% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with automatic spending reductions if the caps are breached.  Reps. Mack, Kingston, Flake, and Graves, for example, are developing spending-cap legislation to this effect.
  3. To fundamentally and permanently reform the way that Washington budgets and spends, we must send to the states a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) with strong protections against federal tax increases and including a Spending Limitation Amendment (SLA) like the statutory spending caps described above.  Rep. Joe Walsh has introduced a BBA with a spending limit provision (H.J.Res. 56) that has already earned the support of 47 Republican senators.

We believe it is prudent to limit the extension of borrowing authority as much as possible, in order to demand accountability from Senate Democrats and the Obama Administration.

With each passing day our nation’s fiscal health gets worse, leaving our children and grandchildren falling farther into debt.  The Democrats have given up, saying that the only answer to excessive borrowing is more borrowing.  Therefore, it is imperative that we move quickly and unite behind a plan to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington and renew the Age of America.

Since I was born an American and happen to believe, based on the simple historical fact that we’ve created perhaps the most prosperous society imaginable through our systems of economics and government, I really don’t want to watch the Democrats screw it up anymore.

When he was running in 2008, I asked Andy if he would be part of the Republican Study Group and he said yes. Given these solutions to the big government which ails us, can you see why I’d ask?

Here’s what Harris had to say on the House floor the other day:

Looks like Andy fits right in.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.