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An Open Letter to the House of Representatives: Sign on to “Cut, Cap, Balance” Agenda

May 24, 2011

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in strong support of the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” agenda developed by Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) and the Republican Study Committee (RSC). We urge all members to support their efforts and sign on to the RSC’s letter to Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

By any measurement, federal spending has spiked dramatically. The budget has roughly doubled in little more than a decade. As a percentage of our economy, 2011 outlays will surpass a level unseen since the era of full-scale war mobilization in the 1940s, at over 25 percent. Perhaps most disturbing, President Obama’s estimate of our overspending problem – roughly $1.6 trillion this year – is about equal, in inflation-adjusted terms, to the entire federal budget in 1982. Put another way, we will raise through the Tax Code and spend in real terms roughly the federal budget of 2003 and borrow and spend an amount approximating the 1982 federal budget (which was itself more than 23 percent of GDP) just for good measure.

Solving this large and growing problem will take a commitment by Congress to prudent spending reductions now and reforms to our unsustainable entitlement programs moving forward. In recognition of the long and difficult path to fiscal responsibility that lies ahead, the RSC approach sensibly combines substantial trimming of federal spending in the short-term, a strong statutory spending cap in the medium-term, and a robust Balanced Budget Amendment to our Constitution in the long-term in order to help return the federal government to a manageable size and cost.

As bad as the numbers look today, they get exponentially worse with every passing year that Congress fails to address our fiscal challenges. That’s why it is so important to ensure that any action on the debt ceiling is paired with substantial and durable reforms to Washington’s spending habits. The RSC and Chairman Jordan have sketched out a series of bold and necessary policies Congress must enact if we are to have any hope of staving off a painful debt crisis.

The course that the RSC has so commendably charted will not be easy, but the business of responsible governance seldom is. For decades, the warning signs about the federal government’s deteriorating financial discipline have been clear. Representative Jordan and the RSC have heeded those signs with a measure of courage and a comprehensive, achievable action plan. We urge you to support the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” agenda and lend your name to the RSC’s letter to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor.


Andrew Moylan
Vice President of Government Affairs


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