Posted by on August 31, 2017

(Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

 

— Michael Clayton —

 

When Congress returns from August recess next week they will face a plethora of pressing issues – including the fact that the federal government is set to run up against their borrowing limit at the end of September.

That’s right, Congress once again has to tackle the dreaded DEBT CEILING, and sure enough political pundits on both sides of the aisle are predicting economic disaster if Congress doesn’t act to increase it immediately – or sooner.

But as Senator Rand Paul points out, “the truth is that this battle isn’t over closing the government or shuttering federal agencies. In reality, those of us demanding fiscal sanity are simply calling to slice up the big spenders’ credit card.”

In short, the fight over the debt ceiling is an opportunity to cut government spending. Check out this figure:

I took that snapshot while writing this article. $19,975,534,446,800, what an astronomical number. And here I am over here freaking out about a little bit of student loan debt. Geez, do all the numbers have to be in RED?

The truth is, our federal government has a massive spending problem. I don’t think anyone, Republican or Democrat, will deny that. However, Washington’s dirty little secret is that when it comes down to it, neither side is willing to cut their “sacred cows” – entitlement spending for Democrats and defense spending for Republicans.

Like I pointed out yesterday, the easiest way to downsize our behemoth federal government is to cut taxes and cut spending. Using the debt ceiling as a leverage tool to achieve spending cuts is not irresponsible, but continuing to ignore out nation’s debt problem is. A temporary government shutdown won’t affect most Americans AT ALL, but an economic collapse due to out-of-control government spending sure would.

We cannot allow Congress to continue kicking the can down the road on spending cuts. The future of our great nation does not depend on our ability to borrow more money – it depends on the ability of individuals to stand up and demand fiscal responsibility. If you ran your household like this, you’d be in jail. It’s time to cut the federal government’s credit card!

Let’s be honest with ourselves, did the world end during the temporary government shutdown in 2013? Well no, not at all. In fact, U.S. markets actually rose the next day, and continued to stay steady throughout the week. Hundreds of thousands of government employees were furloughed for 16 days, which they received back pay for after the shutdown was over. Oh, and President Obama shut down open-air federal monuments just to prove a point.

What the 2013 government shutdown DID do for limited government advocates is highlight the astounding amount of government employees who considered “non-essential” by their own departments. That includes 95% from Department of Education, 93% from the Environmental Protection Agency, 86% from Department of Commerce, 80% from Department of Interior, and the list goes on and on and on. Why do these people have jobs in the first place if they aren’t considered “essential” employees?

But I digress – the real source of my frustration is the failure to cut government spending. Senator Rand Paul points out some of the madness in his Waste Report:

“From the IRS failing to recover over $76 million in “unallowable expenses” to government contractors, to hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars spent studying what Neil Armstrong said or didn’t say on the moon, my Waste Report regularly highlights examples of government waste that prove how ridiculous things have gotten in Washington.

And it all adds up.

One of my Reports from earlier this year found that nearly $2,000 of each American’s tax dollars (totaling $295 billion) will go just to paying interest on the debt in 2017 – funds with which we could meet the budgets of several departments and agencies combined.

We cannot allow this to stand. We must act now.”

The common response I hear from people when discussing the need to cut government spending is that they money is being spent on somebody, or something, that desperately needs it. And that if we cut the funding then someone or something would suffer tremendously.

The truth is, if we don’t cut spending now, ALL Americans are going to be suffering tremendously – it costs $2,000 per American just to pay the interest on the national debt in 2017. YIKES.

If we as a people are going to overcome our $19,975,534,446,800 national debt, we are going to have to start having new conversations. We need to start by deciding which programs and departments are better run by state and local governments, and cut those at the federal level. And we need to make an important decision about the size and scope the federal government should really have in America. The real question is, can we afford it?

America’s Liberty PAC supports Senator Rand Paul’s efforts to enact spending reforms before Republicans agree to another debt ceiling increase:

“I urge legislators in the U.S. House to support the House Freedom Caucus’ push to change how government operates, which would allow us to avoid hitting the debt ceiling in the future while still meeting our obligations.

May this be the time we look back on as the moment Republicans kept their commitments to deliver change and be the party of limited government.

Let us take our case for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the American people and finally get it done.

Let us provide stability and better keep the guarantees we’ve already made by reforming our entitlement programs, and let us start on the road to fiscal sanity right away by passing a budget that balances within five years.

And through it all, may we make our voices heard loudly and clearly: ‘No Debt Ceiling increase without Reforms!'”

Please sign your petition today – TELL CONGRESS: Stop Out of Control Spending – no debt ceiling increase without spending cuts!