I recently participated in a conference call with Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey. He spoke about the pending budget crisis and the need for a balanced budget amendment.
Due to my travels, this recap is a cross between a hodgepodge and a mishmash, rather than a coherent flowing column. Later on I will smoothe out the jagged edges. Here is the gist of the call.
“Crisis on our hands, not overstating it.”
“Larry Lindsay in WSJ…CBO numbers understate size of deficits in near future…wildly investigting cost of Obamacare, wildly optimistic about economic growth.”
Something dramatic and bold.
Balanced budget amendment does all of this.
“Huge govt expansion with huge tax increases…spending could not exceed 18% of GDP. Supermajority to raise taxes.
Requiring balance, limiting spending, supermajority to raise taxes would insure a govt limited in its scope.”
It would force reform of entitlement programs…enormously pro growth
Fiscal train wreck big part of what is having a chilling effect on our economy.
“Future of the country depends on whether we get our fiscal house in order or slide down the path weve seen some of our European friends follow.”
“No small feat to have Rand Paul and Olympia Snowe sign a major piece of legislation.”
Not only good policy, but the American public loves it. Will raise debt limit contingent on these cuts and a BBA. If we get that passed, where in the world does the Pres go? American people want BBA, they support it.
If we do pass it, it puts us on offense and puts the President in a very difficult position.
One person on the call pointed out that supporting BBA doesn’t tie you to any specific cuts.
Toomey replied “I don’t think that’s a reason not to pursue a BBA.”
Not mutually exclusive. We could fall short and make progress on other fronts. If we fail to get 67, but American people notice, we can bring it up again and maybe pick up another couple votes.
If we had the will we wouldn’t need to do this, but we have shown we don’t have the will. Any way we can impose this straitjacket is good.
My budget includes cuts for 2012.
On person on the call asked about Cap and BBA but not cuts?
“No, I want to see cuts.”
“I doubt very much that Reid wants to bring this bill to the floor. From what little i know about parliamentary procedure, there are ways we can do it.”