The proposal of House Republicans to implement a spending freeze as part of their alternative budget proposal is impractical and ill-founded, Colin Powell says.

In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Colin Powell blasted the idea of a spending freeze as harmful to important federal programs:
Well, you know, I've never seen a spending freeze work. I have heard it trotted out many, many -- what are you going to freeze, Social Security benefits? What are you going to freeze, the growth of Medicare payments? Veterans -- no increase in disability amounts for veterans? Are you going to freeze the Defense Department?

You can't freeze a government as large as ours with a budget of a $1.5 trillion. And so if somebody actually froze everything, then it would freeze our development assistance.

ADVERTISEMENT
I'm proud to say that in the Republican administration I worked in, President Bush's first term, we doubled the amount of development assistance. We quadrupled the amount going to African brothers and sisters. And we created a program to fight HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases that went up to $15 billion. And that passed in Congress, both Democrats and Republicans.

So I hope my Republican friends don't go too far with this spending freeze idea, because I don't think it works. It's not really practical.



To be clear, the House GOP budget would freeze all spending OTHER than defense and veterans health care.