Putting forward a plan for Congress to balance the budget
Last year, Congress passed a budget that didn’t balance. Then they followed that up by passing a spending bill that blew past even the modest spending restraints they had put in place before.
I voted no and strongly and publicly opposed their spending. Now it appears they won’t even OFFER a budget for 2019, but we don’t have to sit back and watch that happen.
The Senate rules say that if the leadership and the Budget Committee don’t report out a budget by April 1, any senator can do it — so that’s exactly what I’m going to do this week.
I will introduce a FULLY BALANCED budget that includes spending cuts, entitlement reform, and a plan to bring our fiscal house in order. No more trillion-dollar deficits. No more adding to the $21 trillion debt with reckless abandon.
Instead, here are some of the highlights from my balanced budget plan.
My budget will balance in FIVE years, without touching Social Security. It repeals the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and its trillion-dollar deficits and instead uses the Penny Plan to balance.
What does that mean? It means that next year we will spend 1 percent less than we spend this year, and for the next five years, until balance is reached between revenues and spending. After that, the budget will begin to grow again at one percent per year instead of cutting.
Sounds simple, right? Would you be able to do with 99 percent of what you had previously spent if you needed to? Washington will scream and holler, but these are the facts. We are $21 trillion in debt. The deficit is growing again. And it takes only a 1 percent cut per year for a few years to reverse this and to balance.
The plan also makes no specific policy assumptions. If, for example, Congress didn’t want to cut the military, they could simply cut elsewhere in larger amounts, as long as the cut came out to 1 percent of the total budget.
Does anyone not think we WASTE more than 1 percent of the budget?
Last but not least, this budget will include reconciliation instructions to provide for expanded Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to help lower the cost of health care for everyone.
Patients would be able to use their HSAs to pay for premiums, saving them thousands per year. They would also be able to use them for over-the-counter medicine and activities that promote wellness and lower the overall cost of health care.
I take spending and balanced budgets seriously. I’ve never voted for a budget that didn’t balance. Since it appears one is not being offered this year, and since our deficits and debt are spiraling out of control, I decided to offer my own. Adding to massive debt isn’t what I signed up for — and it isn’t what people voted for.
I think the people expected the GOP to keep its word and work to rein in spending, shrink government, and cut the deficit. They expected us to put forward a plan to BALANCE THE BUDGET like we said we would.
Well, for me, it wasn’t just campaign talk. I’m going to do it. And then I’m going to force a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and we will see who will join me.
Paul is the junior senator from Kentucky.