The Federal Budget has rarely been in as much of a state of disarray as it is now. While all parties agree that budget reform is needed, Republicans and Democrats disagree greatly on how this reform should be implemented. Republican views on the federal budget revolve around requiring a cap limiting spending to the average percentage of the GDP, increased transparency in the Federal Reserve, and large spending cuts. These policies will allow the Federal Budget to become balanced over time, reducing the deficit and helping America pull out of its economic crisis.
The Republican Party supports a large and comprehensive reform of the federal budget process. Republicans voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment, the reforms from which 33 states have already implemented. The Republican Party also supports a Constitutional amendment requiring a super-majority for any tax increases, with exceptions for national emergencies. They also support the imposition of a cap that would limit spending to the historical average percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. These two policies, when implemented together, would keep Congress from balancing higher spending via tax hakes.
Republicans wish to see the tax system greatly simplified. They also wish to see government spending and regulation reduced. They believe that the economy would greatly benefit, and therefore the deficit greatly reduced, by American companies being more competitive in the world market, and Americans being more aggressive in their promotions of American products abroad. They wish to see infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airports, ports, and water systems controlled run by a state-federal-private partnership. Republicans support a major Medicare reform, as Medicare has become a major driving factor in the country’s current debt levels.
Democrats Vs. Republicans on the Federal Budget
Not only is the budget an issue of high contention, but Democrats believe that the efforts of Republicans are actually harming the economy. Democrats heavily criticized the large budget cuts proposed by Republicans in 2012. In America the Beautiful, Ben Carson pointed out just how drastically the two parties’ plans differed, and how important it is for them to reach an agreement, stating, “The Republicans, driven by the new members of the Tea Party, wanted to cut $61 billion from the budget, while the Democrats were willing to cut only about 1/6 of that amount. Both Democrats and Republicans have strayed so far from the path of responsible financial policy that the concept of balancing the budget is foreign to them. I believe many of them simply cannot grasp the concept of only spending what you have. I do understand that making budgetary cuts will be painful, but it will not be nearly as painful as going bankrupt!”
Democrats see the Bush-Quayle administration as directly responsible for the economic stagnation of the late 1990s and early 2000s. They do not see the dispute over budgetary issues as one of opinion, but one of right and wrong, stating, “Under Bush-Quayle, the economy was floundering. Bill Clinton and Al Gore were elected to turn it around. They knew the private sector is the engine of economic growth, but they also knew that government can make a difference. After a generation of stagnation, America has the lowest unemployment and fastest economic growth in more than 30 years. We have the lowest inflation rate in decades. More Americans own their home than ever before.”
Democrats also hold Republicans directly responsible for the debt of this era, stating “Republicans talked about fiscal discipline while they quadrupled the debt. In 1992, Democrats promised to cut the deficit in half in four years. America has gone from the biggest deficits in history to the biggest surpluses in history. We must not go back. In 12 years of rule, Republicans quadrupled the national debt.”
The Federal Reserve
Republicans believe that the Federal Reserve is in great need of an audit. Because the actions of the Federal Reserve impact economic activity and inflation alike, its actions should be transparent. Republicans also believe that the Federal Reserve’s role of a last-resort lender should be more transparent. The party is in strong support of legislation that would bring not only transparency, but also accountability to the Federal Reserve, as well as the Federal Open Market Committee, and the federal government’s dealings with foreign central banks. The most efficient path to this transparency and accountability is an annual audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities. Republicans understand that this audit would need to be carefully constructed so that it kept the Federal Reserve isolated from political pressures, ensuring that its decisions are made on sound economic principles, and are in no way swayed by political pressures or values.
Republicans believe that the only way to repair the American economy and reduce the deficit is to cut spending. In its 2012 platform, the Republican Party calculated “in fiscal year 2011, spending reached $3.6 trillion, nearly a quarter of our gross domestic product. Adjusted for inflation, that’s more than three times its peak level in World War II, and almost half of every dollar spent was borrowed money. Three programs-Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security- account for over 40 percent of total spending.” The platform goes on to point out that this spending issue would only get worse if Obamacare went into effect, as it is an additional $1 trillion in expenses.
Republicans propose to cut spending by taxing every federal expense and running it through a triplicate test. “First, is it within the constitutional scope of the federal government? Second, is it effective and absolutely necessary? And third, is it sufficiently important to justify borrowing, especially foreign borrowing, to fund it?” Programs that meet these criteria will be kept as part of the federal budget, while those that don’t will be cut.
Donald Trump on the Federal Budget
Donald Trump’s plans for the federal budget have been criticized by many. He has proposed a tax cut plan that, while helping Americans in an up-front manner, will greatly increase the deficit. However, Trump has stated that he will counteract this by cutting spending in other, wasteful departments. Federal spending would need to be cut by 21 percent to achieve Trump’s tax cuts without increasing the deficit, leaving many unsure of what cuts he could make that would not harm the economy further.
- Democratic Views on the Federal Budget
- Democratic Views On Spending
- Republican Views on the Economy
- Democratic Views on The Economy
- Democratic Views on Foreign Aid
- Democratic Views On Military Spending
- Democratic Views on Defense Spending
- Republican Views on Social Security
- Ted Cruz On The Issues
- Republican Views on Military Spending