1 –The government projects that in 2025, it will spend more to make interest payments on its debt than it will on defense.
2 -The debt limit should be used to motivate lawmakers to check and correct the nation’s fiscal path.
3 -Congress should adopt a statutory spending cap that encompasses all non-interest outlays and achieves budget balance by the end of the decade.
4 – As Congress devises legislation to address highway funding following the expiration of authority in October, Members should start fresh to develop a truly viable, long-term solution.
5 -Congress needs to reform the tax code to restore economic growth and opportunity for American families and businesses.
We are also taking extreme efforts in particular with items #2 and #3 in conjunction with our late reporting of yesterday’s article. Emphasis will be given also to the historical nature of Congress, why it is in their care, and just how they continue to drop the normal protocol given any one of the following: Executive branch requests for more money, special interest groups influencing spending, and using constitutional history to show why elected officials are in place to monitor such activity.
In the long run, Congress needs to drive down federal spending, including through reform of entitlement programs, to a balanced budget while maintaining a strong national defense and without raising taxes.
While Congress cannot solve everything at once, it can and must take the opportunities it faces in September through December of 2015 to cap and cut spending, move to budget balance, and take steps toward tax reform that will allow the free market to grow the economy.
The Constitution grants the power to borrow to Congress, thereby denying it to the President as an additional check on public debt. The statute setting the debt limit is part of how Congress retains some of its authority to borrow money on the credit of the United States.
As Michael W. McConnell of Stanford Law School explains:
Article One, Section Eight, Clause Two allows Congress to borrow money on the credit of the United States. It imposes no limit, but note that granting this power to the legislative branch denies it to the executive. Under the unwritten British Constitution prior to the Glorious Revolution, the king could borrow money as a matter of his own prerogative authority, which kings frequently did, with disastrous results.
The British experience in the century prior to the Constitution suggested that parliamentary control over borrowing was a real, substantial, and effective check on excessive public debt. And so the framers imitated that. Some people thought, last summer, that President Obama should raise the debt ceiling on his own authority, which would have violated this fundamental constitutional principle. But Obama is only president of the United States. He is not King Charles II.
the actions of government affect spending and deficits. Without a rule imposing a periodic routine examination of finances, Congress is more likely to disregard its actions until some future fiscal crisis forces drastic and especially painful action.
Just as an occasional check on blood pressure can lead to a course correction and avoid a massive heart attack, the debt limit should be used to motivate lawmakers to check and correct the nation’s fiscal path.
And finally the “Tale of the Tape” for Congressional officials is that politicians have figured out ways to manipulate situations or have found loopholes that allow them to give the impression of doing something while in reality maintaining the status quo.
To avoid the political pain of allowing for increases in the debt limit without doing the hard work of cutting federal spending, Congress has employed various strategies to establish political cover to increase the debt limit. What all of these strategies have in common is that they allow lawmakers to neglect dealing with the issue at hand: overspending. Two recent examples are suspension and the resolution of disapproval. This will be up to the “People.”