Tuesday, March 07, 2006

House Conservatives Prepare Austere Alternative Budget

A rare decent article from the NY TIMES.

House Conservatives Prepare Austere Alternative Budget

Published: March 7, 2006
WASHINGTON, March 6 — With Congress heading into a politically perilous budget season, influential House conservatives plan this week to propose an austere alternative spending plan that would pare more than $650 billion over five years, balance the budget and drastically shrink three cabinet agencies.

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Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Bush in Washington Monday with Edward P. Lazear, who was sworn in as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
The legislation, part of a push by some Republicans to re-establish themselves as champions of fiscal restraint, was taking shape as President Bush struck a similar theme on Monday by asking Congress to grant him line-item veto power to eliminate federal spending that he might judge wasteful.

"We can't be all things to all people when it comes to spending the taxpayers' money," Mr. Bush said at a ceremony installing a new chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

But House conservative leaders would go far beyond the president's own budget proposal, illustrating the difficulty the White House and the Republican leadership have had in persuading the caucus to speak with one voice on the matter.

Senior aides say the conservatives' plan would wring about $350 billion from Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs and save $300 billion partly through a major reorganization of the Education, Commerce and Energy Departments.

"We are putting our money where our mouth is," said one of the officials, who would discuss the proposal only without being identified because it was still being prepared for release Wednesday by leaders of the Republican Study Committee.

There's no excuse for defecit spending on this level. None. Kudos to Mike Pence and the rest of them for stepping up to the plate. As for President Bush's comments, I'll believe it when I see it. He has a veto pen, and it's time for him to use it if a spending bill is unacceptable.

There will be more on this soon. Stay tuned.


Keith Richards said...

It looks like the issue of irresponsible spending is finally hitting critical mass in Washington D.C.

Like most Reagan conservatives, I am tired of watching our government waste billions and billions of dollars, to be followed by complaints that Americans aren't being taxed enough. As a Republican I am ashamed that so many leaders of my own party have been leading the spending spree.

As we watch the circus that always comes with reduced spending we need to keep in mind that federal income increases at a rate far greater than the rate of inflation every year. The problem with the federal government is not a lack of revenue, it is out-of-control spending. This is not much different than a man who gets in financial trouble due to gambling. Giving a gambling addict more money won't solve his financial difficulties, and giving the federal government more taxes won't fix their problems either. And if I go on a mad spending spree and blow away the money needed to pay my bills I can't demand that my employer give me a raise. Why should we give the federal government a raise for wasting so much of the money we ALREADY send them?

There is bound to be a lot of squealing as soon as spending limits are proposed. Get your barnyard boots ready. If our country gets the kind of spending reductions that are truly required, we will need the boots to handle the massive volume of organic fertilizer that begins pouring out of the southern end of the American news media.

Bachbone said...

You hit the nail on its proverbial head with, "I'll believe it when I see it." Or as my dear old mom used to say when I promised to do something, "Seeing is believing."

Keith Richards said...

It is true that politicians generally get a lot more kudos for bringing home the bacon than for cutting the federal budget. Everyone wants to see the budget cut as long as it does not affect anything in their own district, so politicians have to band together and support each others pork in order to assure that they can deliver theirs.

But there might be more pressure right now because record spending and record debt levels are creating an issue for challangers to use against incumbants.

RKG said...

I thought the critical mass on irresponsible spending occured when Republicans finally took control of congress after 40 years of irresponsible Democratic control and had a conservative Republican in the White House. The damage done in the last 5 1/2 years is shameful and inexcusable. I am dumbfounded that anyone thinks people are just beginning to notice.

Republican Michigander said...

I don't think we've had any true conservative since the white house since Coolidge. Reagan was closest. (I've always considered both George Bushes a moderate)

The problem is too many reps forgot where they came from, and too many need their pork. The senate is the biggest problem. When over 80 senators vote for the bridge to nowhere (including our two senators), there's a big problem. (although George Allen voted against the bridge to nowhere)

President Bush needs to find his veto pen once in awhile too.