This article by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WYO) takes to task Chet Edwards’ constant drip, drip promise about the merits of Pay-As-You-Go. I have always viewed Chet’s plan of Pay-Go as a way to raise taxes while also fully controlling every aspect of economic growth.
A free economy produces more revenue to tax coffers than the Congressional Budget Office predicts because freedom is exponential in its positive effect. However, Chet’s plans always focus on tax credits, government grants, and other statist ideas to control the economy, whose negative effect is always underestimated by the Congressional Budget Office because increased government involvement in the economy actually stifles growth.
Chet’s Pay-Go plan leads to that double dipping nirvana of increased government power and the need to further raise taxes.
Senator Enzi has another reason why Pay-Go is wrong…and in my book, two wrongs never make a right:
Leaders should not just talk about — but walk the walk of — fiscal conservatism. This budget session can and should set the tone for how seriously this Congress takes its role as steward of taxpayer dollars.
Our first step should be a balanced-budget amendment that prevents future Congresses from burdening our children with mountains of debt.
We thought statutory pay-as-you-go was the answer. Pay-as-you-go means new spending or tax changes must be budget neutral and not add to the federal deficit.
While this sounds good in theory, the rule didn’t make a bit of difference because the majority allowed so many exceptions and waived the rule on massive new spending bills. They should call it “pay-as-I-say.”
It’s clear that a balanced-budget amendment is the only way to budget discipline.
Another key to enhanced budget discipline is tax reform. When Washington started the income tax in 1913, the federal Internal Revenue Code could be printed in one 400-page textbook. The current version is more than 4,000 pages — and that doesn’t count the volumes of regulations and additional technical advice that the IRS publishes every year to help taxpayers understand the law.
Between tax extenders, expiring income tax cuts and the temporarily defunct estate tax, individuals and businesses now have no certainty regarding our nation’s tax policy. This is our federal tax code, not a quart of milk. Businesses large and small shouldn’t have to check the expiration date of a tax provision to see if it’s still good.
Individuals and businesses cannot make hiring and investment decisions in this uncertain tax environment. The indecisive nature of current tax policy is a major impediment to economic growth and recovery.
Lawmakers must act before our entire tax code becomes one giant annual extender.
These changes may be hard. But we have to break the cycle of thinking that we can spend our way into prosperity and out of debt. Growing government uses money. Government does not produce money. We have gotten used to printing money instead of making it the old-fashioned way: by earning it.
America is at a crossroads. We can make tough changes that will ensure that the members of the next generation have it better than their parents did. As consumers of government services, we all need to evaluate what we expect the government to provide and look at the bigger picture.
No one raindrop thinks it is responsible for a flood. Every dollar we add to the deficit strengthens our foreign competitors and creditors and weakens us.
If we bankrupt America, we will all pay the price.
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) is the senior member of the Budget Committee and the Senate’s only accountant. Read all of his article: Adding to deficit is bankrupt solution.