Ignatius offers various examples from history (e.g., Fed Chairman Paul Volker's 1979 interest rate hikes that caused the recessions of the early '80s, but broke the inflation psychology and (I would add, with Ronald Reagan's policies) built the foundation for 25 years of prosperity.
Ignatius concludes with: "What's crazy in this budget season is the hope that you can buy some relief with just a little harsh medicine. To quote Shakespeare's 'Macbeth': 'If it were done ... then 'twere well it were done quickly.'"
Measured by the "Ignatius standard", I would argue that only the Republican Study Committee, chaired by Congressman Jim Jordan, has offered a budget that gets the job done in time. The president's latest proposal just keeps adding new debt and deficit (and taxes) forever, and even Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's budget (now the official budget of the House of Representatives) takes a generation of further debt and deficit before eventually getting to balance.
The RSC budget gets us to balance by 2020. And they do it by cutting spending rationally in both the regular operating budget of the government (keeping discretionary spending at 2008 levels of $933 billion beginning in 2013 (including trimming defense spending at the levels recommended by Secretary of Defense Gates), reducing Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other entitlement spending -- and by not raising taxes.
First, consider the futility of tax increases for the rich making a real dent in deficits. As the RSC points out, the General Accountability Office has determined that the "entitlement shortfall -- the difference between planned spending and the revenues coming in -- is equal to $88.6 trillion." The Congressional Budget Office estimates that by just 2025, current level spending on Social Security, federal health care programs and net interest will consume "every single dollar of revenue the federal government collects."
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.
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