Let's hear it for a balanced budget
Reader feedback at end
Seriously, why should SAFE offer such a message at a time when our political leaders are working overtime on proposals to add to the $2+ trillion of economic relief for the coronavirus pandemic that has already been enacted?
In terms of the actions needed to protect the country’s long-term interests, we have no doubt that balancing the budget and sticking to it would be a major improvement over current policies.
Such a course correction couldn’t reasonably be made in one year, but doing it in five years would be feasible – as was demonstrated during President' Bill Clinton’s second term – so the real issue is political will rather than feasibility.
As for timing, experience has suggested that the “right time” for proposals to get serious about limiting government spending (the most effective way to balance the budget) is always perceived to be “after the next election.” Like doing things “tomorrow,” however, the appointed time for action never seems to arrive.
And if the main message that our political leaders are hearing from the general public, the media, etc. is the urgency of additional spending or tax relief for this, that or the other faction or special interest, why should anyone be surprised if said leaders keep approving bigger deficits and more debt.
Maybe if SAFE and a few like-minded observers speak up, it will have an impact. And as has been famously asked: “If not now, when? If not us, who?” The origin of this saying are somewhat murky, but it has been used (sometimes reversing the order) by George Romney, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama among others. Barrypopik.com, 4/25/2010.
Long story short, we sent a letter to President Trump last week and it pulled no punches. Here’s a link to the text, which has been posted on SAFE’s website.
Copies were sent to the top leaders of Congress (Senators Mitch McConnell & Charles Schumer; Representatives Nancy Pelosi & Kevin McCarthy). See the posted cover letter.
We also reached out to several other members of Congress (Senators Tom Carper, Chris Coons, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester) plus some private sector contacts.
If any of you readers feel so inclined, please support the message. One way to do this would be to write or call the White House.
#Wow! – SAFE member (Delaware).
#See this contemporaneous article: Our national-debt problem isn’t going away, Michael Tanner, nationalreview.com, 4/15/20.