According to CAGW, the proposed current budget represents a $20.1 billion increase in pork barrel over fiscal 2002. If affordability is the primary concern, this Congress should emulate the World War II Congress and reduce, not increase, spending. According to CAGW researchers, between 1939 and 1942, non-defense spending was cut by 22 percent. During the Korean War (between 1950 and 1951), non-defense discretionary spending fell 25 percent. In the Vietnam War, President Johnson tried to produce "guns and butter." He dramatically increased domestic and defense spending. He lost the war in Vietnam and started an inflationary war on our wallets.
Taxpayers, especially this close to April 15, should be asking Congress why it can't "afford" to let us keep more of the money we earn, but never asks whether we can "afford" unnecessary expenditures on the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and the National Peanut Festival. Congress should be required to take the lead when it speaks of "fiscal responsibility" and deficits.
The correct approach to deficits is not to tax people more (or refuse them a larger tax cut), but to spend less and allow those who make the money to be the primary determiners of how and where to spend or invest their own money. Government's main contribution to a robust economy occurs when it takes less of our money and allows us to keep more. The cost of the war to liberate Iraq could be partially offset by a more responsible and temperate approach to spending. Congress has created the deficit, because it spends too much, not because we're taxed too little. Why don't they go on the wagon?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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