Has Washington really changed its spending stripes?
Americans know that chronic government overspending is bankrupting our nation, fueling uncertainty in investment, and further weakening our economy. We also know that, unless Washington begins to act immediately to dramatically cut spending, our fiscal and economic situation will grow far worse from here.
In his much-anticipated State of the Union address, President Obama presented to a deeply concerned nation a plan he said will put the American economy – and America itself – not only back on track, but back on top of the global competition. Clearly, this is a goal everyone can support.
But the president’s proposed means to achieve this goal appeared to rely heavily on new government “investment” – which some say is a code word for new spending.
And while House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI) – who delivered the Republican response to the president’s address – may not have called for more spending, his speech too fell far short of naming specifics spending cuts he will propose to get the nation out of the fiscal hole his own party had a big role in digging.
In short, while last night was big on good speeches and optimistic themes, we join the many who can’t help but question if Washington really has changed its spending stripes…or just improved its rhetoric.
While only time (and budget and appropriations votes) will tell, a quick review of Washington’s fiscal track record over the past decade (see link to “Fiscal Cheat Sheets,” below) makes clear that just throwing more money at a program – regardless of its merits — doesn’t necessarily fix anything. Trust us, Congress has tried and proven this many times over – which is exactly why we’re in the dire fiscal situation we’re in today. It’s time for a change in action, not just rhetoric.