Guest Blog: Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 10:14 AM
    Recently, a notable economist who supported the stimulus tax rebate checks mailed out this spring admitted the checks failed to give the economy a much-needed boost.

Martin Feldstein, a Harvard professor who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan, wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

"Those of us who supported this fiscal package reasoned that the program would boost consumer confidence as well as available cash.{…}The evidence is now in and that optimism was unwarranted. Recent government statistics show that only between 10% and 20% of the rebate dollars were spent. The rebates added nearly $80 billion to the permanent national debt but less than $20 billion to consumer spending. This experience confirms earlier studies showing that one-time tax rebates are not a cost-effective way to increase economic activity."

Not only were the stimulus checks ineffective, they added nearly $80 billion to our permanent national debt. Once again, our government’s knee-jerk reactions will cost our children and grandchildren for years to come.

In a time when families are struggling to stay within their budgets, the government continues to irresponsibly live beyond its means -- preferring to pass crippling financial burdens onto future generations. Just last year, Congress spent over $17 billion on more than 11,600 pork barrel earmarks. And a review of federal spending in 2006 found over $1 trillion in waste and questionable use of taxpayer dollars. Government spending has ballooned out of control and this needs to stop.

“The Roadmap for America’s Future” proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (which he blogged about previously), would reel in current spending levels declared unsustainable by the Congressional Budget Office. It would also curb and decrease debt over the next several years.

Americans are sick and tired of wasteful government spending. While they struggle to meet rising energy costs and still putting food on the table, their government appears to give little thought to what runaway spending today means for outlook of tomorrow. They, as well as their posterity, deserve better.

Elected as South Carolina’s 55th senator in 2004, Senator DeMint quickly established himself as one of the most effective conservative leaders in Washington, seeking to enact innovative solutions to improve America for future generations. He has been a tireless advocate for smaller government, individual liberty, a strong national defense and traditional values.