Paul Budget Could Break The Spending Habit

NTU urges all Senators to vote “Yes” on S. Con. Res. 36, Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) “Penny Plan Budget.” This budget demonstrates that fiscal responsibility is achievable through smart, incremental changes that break our ruinous spending habit.

In the absence of a timely budget resolution, Senator Paul deserves credit for taking leadership on an increasingly critical issue. The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) most recent report on “Budget and Economic Outlook” painted a dire picture of growing deficits and a federal debt at nearly 100 percent of GDP in just ten years. Particularly as the window closes for the type of small changes that could produce big savings, urgent action is necessary on the part of Congress to avoid fiscal and economic crisis.

The “Penny Plan” approach in S. Con. Res. 36 is one, of many budget reforms that NTU has consistently endorsed. The approach is simple: for every dollar spent, one penny is saved, essentially imposing a one percent cut until balance is achieved (in only 5 years under S. Con. Res. 36). After which, spending can grow at one percent, a rate that then keeps spending well under the CBO’s revenue projections. Even with cuts this modest, S. Con. Res. 36 still manages to balance without making changes to major deficit drivers like Social Security.

In addition, S. Con. Res. 36 includes much-needed relief for consumers facing another year of sky-high insurance premiums and other health care costs in the form of expanded Health Savings Accounts.

Finally, S. Con. Res. 36 highlights and provides for reforms that address our broken budget process. Recommendations like making budget function totals enforceable and creating new points of order against unauthorized appropriations are among the many commonsense reforms S. Con. Res. 36 would advance.

Though S. Con. Res. 36 is unlikely to be adopted by Congress as the template for FY19 spending, the resolution nonetheless deserves serious consideration and support from Senators concerned about our sky-rocketing debt and out-of-control spending. This is an important marker demonstrating that these issues should be a major priority, that a balanced budget is an important goal, and that by modest steps it is within our reach.

Roll call votes on S. Con. Res. 36 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.