Regardless of whether a liberty-minded president is an option on the big ticket, the outcomes of the congressional races are far more important, as Congress will truly determine the fiscal policies coming out of Washington.
If we really want to put an end to reckless spending, it is necessary to remove the root cause of our fiscal problems. Even though Presidents George W. Bush and Obama have dramatically expanded executive power, Congress still wields an enormous amount of power.
Congress, not the president, writes the laws and controls the purse strings in the federal government. No matter how much the president wants to spend, he or she cannot spend a penny that the Congress has not first appropriated.
The Clinton Administration serves as a reminder that Congress controls the fiscal agenda on Capitol Hill. At the recent 2012 Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton had the nerve to take credit for policy that he had virtually no part of whatsoever.
“Now, people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row,” Clinton said. “What new ideas did we bring to Washington? I always give a one-word answer: Arithmetic.”
Clinton wants voters to believe that he balanced the federal budget in his second term, but the GOP-controlled Congress deserves the highest recognition. When Republicans controlled the House and Senate from 1995 to 2001, they stopped Clinton from spending the outrageous amount that he wanted to spend.
In 1995, when the GOP took control of Congress, Clinton’s budget projected continued federal deficits of $200 billion or more indefinitely into the future.
The Republican Congress acted immediately to cut taxes and reduce spending—the recipe for balancing the budget. The capital gains tax was cut from 28 percent to 20 percent and federal discretionary spending was slashed by 17.5 percent, as a percent of GDP, over the next 4 years.
Julie Borowski is a Policy Analyst at FreedomWorks, an organization dedicated to lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. Her writings on economic policy have appeared in numerous newspapers and online outlets. She is on the Board of Advisors for the Coalition to Reduce Spending and she launched an independent YouTube channel called TokenLibertarianGirl in June 2011.
She was previously selected to be a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow with the Institute for Humane Studies where she worked at the Center for Competitive Politics. Most recently, she was a government affairs associate at Americans for Tax Reform.
Julie has volunteered for political candidates in Kentucky and in her home state of Maryland. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Frostburg State University in May 2010 where she studied political science, economics and international studies. She is now located in Washington, D.C.