At a time when we are adding over a trillion dollars to our national debt every year, the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (a body designed to make the hard decisions that Congress itself has been too cowardly to make) is expected to recommend making about that much in spending reductions over ten years. When they’re driving us over a fiscal cliff I guess it’s nice to know that they’re at least thinking about downshifting. This laughable budget-cutting contrasts with the economic plan offered by Congressman and Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ron Paul.
Dr. Paul’s detailed “Plan to Restore America” would cut $1 trillion from the federal budget during the first year of the Paul presidency and deliver a balanced budget by the third year. Paul’s plan would eliminate five do-nothing federal departments (Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education) and reduce the federal workforce by 10%. It would block grant Medicaid and welfare to the states, allowing flexibility and cost-savings.
If you think such cuts are too much and would knock the federal budget back into the 1800’s, no such luck. Nationally syndicated columnist Jacob Sullum points out, “Paul’s plan would not return the country to the 1990s, let alone the 19th century. It calls for total outlays of $2.9 trillion in 2015, which is about as much as the federal government spent as recently as 2003, adjusted for inflation.” They are substantial cuts, but not oppressive.
Ron Paul would extend the Bush tax cuts, lower the corporate tax rate to 15%, and abolish taxes on inheritance, capital gains and personal savings. Paul’s plan would repeal the job-crushing Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and Sarbanes-Oxley laws and repeal many onerous regulations. It would audit the Federal Reserve and use free market techniques to strengthen the dollar and stabilize inflation. In a symbolic gesture, President Paul would take a salary of $39,336, the median income of the American worker.
You can read the plan in-depth at RonPaul2012.com. At a recent forum, Governor Branstad praised Ron Paul’s plan as “the boldest plan to reduce the federal deficit.” With the country careening ever closer to socio-economic collapse, if now isn’t the time for “bold plans” such as Dr. Paul proposes, when will be? I’ll vote for Ron Paul in the January 3rd Republican caucus.