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  • Morning Bell: A Budget to Save the American Dream

    America’s fiscal condition is dauntingly dismal. The national debt is well on its way to $17 trillion, 13 million Americans are out of work, and the country is stuck in the slowest recovery in the post-war era. Despite Washington bleeding taxpayers dry with reckless overspending, the U.S. Senate has not passed a budget since nearly a year before Apple released the original iPad, leaving the country in a lurch, desperate for leadership in Congress that will bring bold changes and an end to the unconscionable pattern of spending and borrowing.

    Last spring, America saw a bright spot emerge from the abyss when Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced a budget resolution that confronted the twin crises of spending and debt head on. Ryan’s proposal, which passed the House, was a solid step in the right direction — his budget would have gotten spending under control, repealed Obamacare, transformed Medicare, and offered a solid approach to controlling Medicaid’s spiraling costs. Unfortunately, the Senate said “no,” and America watched Washington get stuck in gridlock last summer, only to emerge with a half-baked deal that postponed real reform and put our national security in jeopardy.

    In the coming weeks, the budget will again pass through Congress’ orbit, and it will be up to Ryan to steer it in the right direction. The Heritage Foundation’s Vice President for Domestic and Economic Policy, David S. Addington, lays out six conservative goals that Ryan should include in his proposal — a tighter budget that spends less next year than this year; a budget headed toward balance (sooner rather than later); fixes to entitlements that get costs under control; no tax hikes; job-creating pro-growth tax reform; and ensuring a strong national defense:

    The Heritage Foundation showed how best to achieve these goals with Saving the American Dream: The Heritage Plan to Fix the Debt, Cut Spending, and Restore Prosperity.

    The Heritage plan achieves a balanced federal budget within ten years and keeps it balanced thereafter, without raising taxes. The plan moves Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid toward the principle of insurance against the risk of poverty and away from the principle of open ended entitlement to government guaranteed income and benefits.

    The plan abolishes the individual income tax, capital gains tax, and many other taxes and instead imposes a simplified, single-rate tax on expenditures by individuals–with no taxes on amounts saved–and a single tax on the domestic net cash flow of businesses. The plan also ensures that America has the capabilities it needs to defend our country and its interests around the globe.

    With these policies, the Heritage plan achieves a permanently balanced budget and spurs economic growth, investment, and creation of jobs. The Heritage Foundation measures congressional progress toward conservative goals against the standard of Saving the American Dream.

    Of course, there are those in Washington who stand opposed to these kinds of reforms. Yesterday, faced with the prospect of congressional conservatives’ calls for a budget that spends less, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) accused Republicans of violating last summer’s agreement. “This wasn’t only a handshake, a pat on the back, it was a law we passed,” Mr. Reid told reporters. “Now the Republican right-wing in the House is trying to change the law.” Meanwhile, Reid and the Senate Democrats have offered no solutions to the problems staring them in the face.

    Conservatives are looking for leaders in Congress to recognize the desperate times the country is in and take the necessary steps to put Washington on sound fiscal footing. As Addington writes, “The job will not get done with a little budget-trimming here, a few tax changes there, and the annual, never-realized promise that Congress will do better next time, as our national debt of more than $16 trillion continues to mount.” Chairman Ryan and the House of Representatives should now take the lead and propose a budget that gets federal spending and borrowing under control while advancing the conservative principles laid out in the Saving the American Dream plan.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to Morning Bell: A Budget to Save the American Dream

    1. Dave Gell says:

      Sorry, folks, but if you want my support, you'll balance the budget and start paying down the debt a LOT quicker than 10 years.

      • Shirley Brinker says:

        Is anyone aware of what Agenda 21 is. I was not. But I received and e-mail and a video about it and it is bad and needs to be stopped. This is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVMwrTyX-bk&li

        • Charles Webb says:

          THANK YOU FOR LEADING ME TO THIS SITE ! I was not aware of this UN doctrine and how it as come to effect our nation. I am an older guy of 64 and this explains many things I have observed over the years. Thanks again Ms Brinker; I will tell everyone I know about this site.

    2. Jim Buzzell says:

      First of all SSI is not an entitlement program, it is a retirement program setup by our government to ensure all who paid into it would have a safety net upon retirement, not enough to retire on without some other retirement planning. Everyone who works for an employer pays into this program, as does every employers for the benefit of their employees, there for it is a retirement program, a program raided by our federal government since 1968 (ala the Johnson Administration, and the then sitting congress) and thereafter became the federal government Ponzie scheme which no one has gone to jail for to bunk in with Madoff. Once the Heritage Foundation gets it facts straight I will renew my membership. Balancing the budget is a no brainer, but it takes cajones which all, but 69 members conservative freshmen in the house have, but no one else is willing to join in; let see what November brings.

    3. If you do not communicate with your elected leaders, they will assume you agree with all they do. Here is an article that defines solutions to America's greatest problem. All public employees need to act on & support such actions if we expect to perpetuate our freedom & this republic.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        Wrong, Wrong, I' ve written on more than once with all my senators and congressman, who happen to be Dems, and all I get is a form letter in return, it never mentions the problem I am addressing. I also appealed to them in a matter that came from METRO in D.C., thye raction to one was to forward my letter to METRO, which I had written to numerous times without result. They ant you to be a leming and follow after them and obey.

    4. Paul says:

      Today's and yesterday's Morning Bell articles, should or need to be sent to possessively bi-est programs like WHYY of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania trio-state area, for the public to hear and, for the program to hear both debate sides of the statement.

    5. Randy Vance says:

      You know,oboma has only told the truth once,and that was when he said he was going to fundamently change America.He says he wants a fair distribution of wealth.If that's the truth then it should start in Washington because per capita there are more million aires there then any other state in the union and most of them are in government.Go figure!!!!!!!

    6. Mary......WI says:

      Until Republicans get control of the senate and Obama is OUT of office, there will be no budget. Reid and Obama have made it very clear they disdain this country and want to see it as a different type of goevernment…socialistic/marxists/communistic type government. The atrocities against the hard-earned money of American people and businesses are mounting in this country. Soon the "takers" will out number the "givers". Is this the America you have always known? Is Obama's idea of America what you want? Do you want to be submissive to government for your very existence?

    7. Tom Howe says:

      I have one congressman that pushes toward budget reform and two Senators that might as well be sheep following the Judas Goat down the chute to national financial collapse. The motivation that keeps the Senate from working towards a responsible budget instead of crafting these massive omnibus bills escapes the logic in what must be my little citizen mind. Unfortunately neither of my Senators are up for election this year.

      Those of you that have Senate seats open this election, please help us save this nation.

      Thanks to Heritage for continuing the pressure.

      • Dara says:

        I feel your pain. One of my Senators is the infamous Dirty Harry (Reid). I hang my head in shame when I see the dinosaur whining about this or that – while he – Pelosi – and Obama accelerate our nation ever faster over the cliff.

        Particularly heinous were his phony tears over the Cowboy Poetry Festival – here in my town of Elko…WE are a GOLD town – and although the mines and miners pay boo coo in federal taxes – WE don't need government handouts for Cowboy Poetry… the town makes bank from that event….

        Adding insult to injury is the fact that WE don't like Uncle Harry – and he doesn't dare show his wrinkled mug up here…

    8. Kasey Eidukonis says:

      The house should not pass an omnibus spending bill. Rather they should break it down into a number of spending bills Defense, Highways, etc. Have the Senate pass those and the President sign them. And simply pass reduced bills for Education, Energy, Interior etc. If the Senate and the President balk then these departments simply do not get funded.

    9. Bob Dennerlein says:

      The power to tax is the power to control! That is and will always be the Democrat montra

    10. Whicket Williams says:

      this is a joke, I think THE American people are waking up to the fact that DvsR is a fake

    11. bullswin says:

      The problem with this approach is it justifies programs that should be delegated to the states. Medicaid should be a state to state issue. Lower the fed consumption of GDP to under 10% and balance taxes accordingly which would then allow the states to collect higher taxes to run such programs at their descretion. The idea that the feds pulling funds from a state is intolerable. it's our money in the first place

    12. Frank says:

      The best plan in town is the Ron Paul Plan: cut $1 trillion from the Federal budget NOW including ending 3 Federal Departments, freeze Federal spending at prior levels and within 3 years the budget will be balanced. Balancing the budget will lead to an economic boom and dramatic rise in confidence by consumers & for the failing US Dollar.

      This is not rocket science, but most politicians don't have the guts to say the things that need to be done NOW like Ron Paul is willing to say. Then return to sound (gold/silver), audit the Federal Reserve & try to phase it out. The big bankers that run the Federal reserve are robbing America of its wealth & we stupidly bail them out when their bets go wrong. And since Federal Reserve Notes are now backed by NOTHING, why not phase them out with a new paper currency back by also nothing and stop paying interest on them in preparation to a transition back to gold & silver currencies eventually?

    13. Cecelia P. says:

      When are the Republican candidates going to stop fighting each other and talking about this?

    14. stephen says:

      Where was this great ideal when G Bush was spending money off the book on his wars?
      I just don't remember you guys being this adamant about spending under GW

      • allen says:

        Maybe you missed the vote in congress when they ALL voted for the WAR, Even Harry (The Tard) Reid.. I would Guess you have a job so you are excused>

      • Bobbie says:

        and bush wasn't intruding American lives, our freedom, our independence. He wasn't a part of making things happen to lay contentions by force on us. For what bush did wrong doesn't compare to what mr. obama creates, adds to and continues…

    15. Lloyd Scallan says:

      We must understand that Obama, and his Democrat ilk in Congress, want only to collapse our economy. When the whole thing falls apart, Obama calculates the people will run to him and beg to be saved with socialism.

    16. "As government becomes bigger, it becomes more lawless. As the regulatory state's micromanagement of society metastasizes, inconvenient laws are construed – by those the laws are supposed to restrain – as porous and permissive, enabling the executive branch to render them nullities."

      —George F. Will, The Washington Post, March 11, 2012

    17. Bobbie says:

      a budget is one thing, discipline to respect it is the missing link. Integrity is necessary from government officials from all in control including those public speakers, outside the self governing of free people! Remove the government from personal livelihoods because it's evident Obama doesn't respect the American fact regarding America and who Americans are with direct focus on destroying independence.

    18. toledofan says:

      The article articulated one very serious detail ' Conservatives are looking for leaders in Congress to recognize the desperate times the country is in and take the necessary steps to put Washington on sound fiscal footing '. And today this this the biggest void within the a Repuiblican Party – no leaership. There are so many things the Republicans can be doing but, still, are too affraid of what the mainstream media will say about them. So, until someone steps up and takes charge, we may just be following the crowd to nowhere.

    19. Max Kummerow says:

      You might have pointed out that federal debt is almost entirely due to Reagan and Bush administrations, that all the major Republican candidates propose cutting taxes. Despite Laffer's laughable and discredited claims, when you cut taxes you cut revenue and that makes deficits worse. A little fiscal realism from so called conservatives would be welcome.

      • O2BMe says:

        Except when you cut taxes you create more jobs and when you create more jobs you collect more taxes and more products are produced and sold which again creates more taxes. This is a delicate balance.

    20. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Budget? What budget? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BUDGET!

    21. ThomNJ says:

      Slightly off-topic, but according to our Constitution we can impeach other elected officials rather than just the president. A move to impeach Harry Reid for plainly violating his duties in the Senate woudl be a good start.

    22. Donald DaCosta says:

      And where do you think Ryan's plan is going to go? What's changed? The Democrat obstructionists are still in charge, condemning wimpy Republicans for obstructionism, fiscal irresponsibility and, their favorite, that seems to fly so well among too many of the electorate, being the "party of the rich." Ignorance, self indulgence and the entitlement mentality runs rampant thanks to OPR, their media sycophants and national apathetic complacency. Until that mind set can be ripped from its self indulgent, socialist roots, America has a long, tough road ahead and will continue to flirt with a fiscal disaster that could destroy its very foundation. We need a leader, an unapologetic, fearless advocate of all that made this country great with the courage and sheer force of personality to make the changes necessary in the face of a firestorm of vitriol sure to come from the entrenched Left while commanding the respect of a resentful, reluctant but grateful nation; a tough, compassionate, demanding Godfather leading by example. Where is that individual among today’s political class?

    23. STEVEN says:

      No REAL AMERICAN would vote against The Heritage Plan!!
      And the rest won't vote for it, might it be that they fear having to live
      within a REAL AMERICAN BUDGET like the rest of us!!!!!!

      There is a single phrase that has screwed Americans since it was written! When a bill is submitted to congress, there is this phrase at the bottom in small print. "AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES"!!
      That single string of words allows congress to pile other items on the bill, even if they are contridictory to the
      initial bill!

      Get rid of that phrase and demand that each bill be for one purpose, the subject of the bill!
      And each bill be published in a public forum one week prior to a vote!
      That will free congress to vote for only one item!
      They wont have to decide, to vote for or against a bill because of all the added items they support or don't support!

      I can hear it now, but that will slow down the process, we'll have ot work longer hours, the people will know exactly what were doing!

    24. Ron W. Smith says:

      Once again, the matter of our annual spending on National Security goes untouched. At more than $1,000,000,000,000 a year, that spending is more than is spent on National Security annually by the rest of the world combined, and we're doing it on borrowed money these days. Instead of calling for open debate of the consequences and costs of the many foreign policy decisions behind the forward projection of our super power everywhere on earth, when we talk spending cuts, we talk only of "entitlements" and watch domestic needs in areas like infrastructure either skimped on or ignored. Instead of owning up to the extravagance in treasure and lives of being SuperPower on Call in these lean times, we continue the extravagance born in flush times and hear cries for yet more involvement internationally, Syria and Iran the latest candidates.
      Why we're so willing to tie our hands domestically while adventuring at great expense internationally has many possible explanations that should be open to national dialogue and debate, not kept from the public for what increasingly are suspicious reasons. Our seemingly unconditional ties to Israel, our willingness to be the target of terrorists with whom we won't talk, the care, feeding, and exercising of our considerable military/industrial complex are just some topics that need airing before American citizens, need much more than agenda-driven attempts at diversion of America's attention and resources away from what is needed more on the home front than abroad.
      Compare China's spending on National Defense with ours. Figure out why it costs us 50 times more for intelligence than it costs Great Britain. See if you can find another country anywhere that spends as much on (or even has to think about) Nation Building in its budget–or dedicates huge sums to Foreign Aid Designed to Gain the Cooperation of Other Countries. And what country comes close to Homeland Security spending the likes of ours or has need for as extensive a Veterans Affairs operation? All these National Security costs, to repeat, need airing, discussion, debate.
      Have you noticed that I don't argue against a strong National Defense? I'm a veteran of four years of full time service in the Air Force and, like you, know we all should recognize the need for that. However, we should all recognize the difference between spending on National Defense and uncalled for extravagance on maintaining hegemony through large and small military installations everywhere, on land and at sea, around the world and on the consequences of that enormous international footprint, intervention after intervention, war after war.
      When does the national dialogue and debate begin? I volunteer.

    25. haroldson says:

      I see and hear a lot about staying in touch with our government officials , My self i think once they get in office they lose the ability to understand what you are up set about, . as for a budget we seem to be coming in late with the idea,Every one in Washington is aware of the money and debt problem we are facing, so far spending is at the same if not higher rates as always, Obama's family are having those fantastic costly Jaunts and vacations, As always is getting the tax payer is on the hook for them, and if they don't bankrupt the country it will be a wonder, This is not because of social security it is because giving money to the government is like giving candy to kids they will hog up on it., They are so far out of line , there should be term limits and all should be vetted. We have been fools to long.

    26. Bobbie says:

      Where and who and how many years has it been educated, spending more than you earn/have leads to stable finance/anything? Was it Harvard? Was it Indonesia? The President isn't the only one with this ignorance and unwillingness to accept reason and common sense. It's an illness that's spread throughout the country and in too many positions of authority!

    27. Al from Fl says:

      I don't see a budget going anywhere unless and until the senate democrats are voted out so that it becomes a republican lead senate. However, taking 10 years to reach a balanced budget is too long considereing the short term memory of our politicians. Biggest problem isn't getting support for getting a 5 year (or 10 year) balanced budget passed, it's giving the people some idea of what the downside of doing it is and how that will be handled.

    28. P R Callihan says:

      Any budget passed by the Republican controlled House is essentially DOA in the Democratic controlled Senate. The Senate has not and will not pass a budget as too many Senators are afraid any cuts to spending will hurt their chances to keep their seat. There will be no budget coming out of the Senate this year and none until the Republicans control that organization. But even then, as I remember from my exposure to Political Science in undergrad college, politicians are elected mostly on how much "pork", whoops, BACON, they bring home. Can't bring home the bacon without spending.

    29. Bob Ward says:

      Subject all Congress members to TERM LIMITS!!! That is a sound mechanism to limit the damage that those clueless moronic parasites inflict on the American people!

    30. Jeanne Stotler says:

      We need a 28th admendment so that members of Congress live by the laws they create, There is so much waste in the Federal Goverment alone, first get rid of all those csars and Michell's huge staff, you do know we pay for them?? then Eliminate all these new bureaus created under BHO and back to 1980 , we do not need 10 to 20 people doing the same job. Give States back their rights. Every Bureau, Department needs to have a FULL audit to cut the waste. To start this off how about every Congressman and Senator cut back on their office expenses, incuding the ones they have in their home state. Really do those who's districts are in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol need offices across the Potomac or up the road?? It's not just us, "We the People" who need to watch our budgets, the govermen needs to as well.

    31. Saltire says:

      This looks like something that has some merit, http://savingthedream.org/about-the-plan/.

    32. Tim says:

      I agree with most of this plan but disagree about Social Security being an insurance program. I'm in my 50's and have been paying into this program most of my life but since I've also been responsible, under this plan I would get nothing from SSI while others who were irresponsible would get a benefit because they spent their money already. I have no doubt I will never see the SSI benefits my parents get today but I believe those who paid significant amounts into the system should get "something", even if that is only 50% of benefits. If not, this seems more like senior welfare than insurance.

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