Goodlatte: “The Road to Recovery”Policy

Guest post by Rep. Bob Goodlatte

This past week House Democrats presented their $3.6 trillion budget resolution – a budget which spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much. The Democrat budget proposes a deficit of $1.2 trillion for 2010, with the national debt climbing to $17.1 trillion. It also includes one of the largest tax increases in history. The spending in this budget is so massive that independent estimates suggest roughly 250,000 new federal bureaucrats may be needed to spend it all.

Many in Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, are concerned and are looking for a better way forward. Congress must go back to the basic principles of limited government and personal responsibility that made our nation great. Instead of raising taxes on all Americans in the midst of a recession, I believe we must hold down that burden for working families and small businesses, in order to create jobs and unlock private capital. We also need to reduce the federal deficit and debt ultimately balancing the budget. I have legislation that would require a balanced federal budget and I will work to have principles from this legislation incorporated into the final budget resolution for 2010.

House Republicans unveiled their alternative budget blueprint, entitled the “Road to Recovery”, which curbs spending, creates jobs, cuts taxes, and does more to control the debt. The plan will do a better job of strengthening the economy and restoring fiscal sanity by letting families and small businesses keep more of what they earn. The Republican alternative makes a commitment to entitlement reform while expanding Americans’ access to affordable health care. It ends the bailouts in order to protect taxpayers, fights inflation so prices of goods and services remain stable and reduces gas prices through an “all of the above” energy plan that includes green energy like wind, solar and biofuels while encouraging domestic production of more traditional sources of energy.

In these challenging economic times it is even more important for government to control spending. The federal government must work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to it. Families and small businesses all across our nation understand what it means to make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford, and Congress should not be allowed to ignore these tough decisions when creating spending policies for the federal government.

I have consistently voted for the tightest budgets possible each year. While the Republican alternative budget is still a blueprint, it is my hope that the details will reveal that it will slash the deficit and pave the way for a balanced budget in the near future. In addition, I strongly urge the Democrat Leadership in Congress to work in good faith to incorporate all ideas, regardless of party affiliation, on how to pass a responsible budget that puts our nation’s families first.

  • Mark

    Just curious, when you and the GOP leadership presided over the doubling of the national debt and y’all couldn’t spend our money fast enough was that “massive”?

    Oh, and thanks to you and the rest of the GOP geniuses for deregulating the financial industry!

  • LittleDavid

    I wish to make two points.

    First: It is interesting that Republicans now have a majority opinion in the party about the need for fiscal responsibility. Back when they controlled Congress that opinion seemed to be lacking. Now that they are once again in minority, they are trying claim they have found the light without admitting the error of their ways when they were in majority.

    Second: I have not been exposed to the Republicans in the House’s proposal but I have heard the opinions of some of those who examined it. Most condemnatory of the proposal were conservatives who claim it is short on substance.

    In closing, I wish to say that while I guess I might be described as being a fiscal conservative, I have been convinced by those who claim to know more then I that at least short term deficit spending is necessary to rescue us from the mess we now find ourselves in. Even conservative economists seem to agree that stimulus is required. The big point of contention seems to be what form the stimulus should take. Republicans favor tax cuts and Democrats favor increased spending. Both formulas result in deficits and as far as I am concerned both methods can be effective in providing stimulus to the economy.

  • Steven Osborne

    Mark and Little David,

    You can’t lump Bob Goodlatte into the big government Republican crowd. Bob Goodlatte fought against the first TARP bill last year, and has fought against the bailouts since. He was also one of the voices yelling into the wilderness calling for limited government.

    It is no more sensible to lump Bob Goodlatte into everything that the Bush Admin. did, than for me to lump Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson into everything that Pres. Obama does.

    It is also interesting to hear President Obama’s defenders defend his spending by using the “Bush did it too” argument. I thought that Obama was supposed to be a change from the policies of the Bush Administration.

  • Grozet

    to be a little snarky . . . this guest post could have been three paragraphs.

    This kind of long winded stuff is pretty typical of elected folks. Their staff in D.C. simply doesn’t have enough campaign experience.

  • Mark

    Steven – so, basically what you’re saying is that the rep was happy to spend our money like a drunken soldier until we ran into our current economic typhoon. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Congressman’s sense.

  • JR Hoeft

    This “but they did it too” meme is a weak and is getting old.

    Is that seriously your only defense for the indefensible and irresponsible debt that the Obama Administration is foisting upon our nation?

    However, to answer your question yet again, I would have like to have seen cost of war included in the federal budget in years past, but it was not. I think our legislators did us a disservice there. But it is worth noting that Republicans tried to cut other discretionary spending during those years and actually succeeded. Since Democrats have regained the majority, no such fiscal discipline exists.

    Second, deregulation began under Clinton. Look it up.

    Third – LD – it’s better to have a “come to Jesus” moment then to not have one at all.

    Fourth – tax cuts are the right form of stimulus – it is an immediate and massive injection of dollars directly into the economy. When combined with effective government spending (like for infrastructure – I have no problem with that), our economy will definitely take off again.

    It’s not the discretionary spending that’s killing our economy – it’s the entitlement programs and interest on the debt.

  • Mark

    1. I agree Obama is spending too much, but I have less of a problem spending money during a recession or depression to save capitalism/ restart the economy than I do just because the GOP wanted to give everything to everyone without paying for it.

    2. True, the law which most damned us was authored by Phil Graham and signed into law in 1999. It repealed post-depression era regulations (we are always quick to forget the lessons of the past).

    3. Is this really a come to Jesus moment, or is it simply a we don’t like it when they spend money in a way different than we would spend money moment. I do not believe that the GOP is fiscally responsible. Evidence would indicate that the only truly principled fiscal conservatives on the Hill are the Blue Dog Ds. They have the power – and they are questioning the expenditure of capital. Something the Republicans certainly did not do when they had the power.

    4. Tax cuts have never been a demonstrated stimulus. That’s what Hoover tried between 1930 and 1932. What did it get us? A deepening Great Depression, much worse stock market losses and out of control unemployment. The Depression did not lessen until FDR took office and started spending $$ (then of course, it got worse between 1937-1938 when the conservatives in his Administration convinced him to slow down government spending in favor of tax cuts, oops).

    If you want to know the truth of the axiom that Government spending will get us out of a depression/ recession answer the follwing question: what DID get us out of the Great Depression?

    If you answered WW2, I would agree. What was WW2 but government stimulus on a super-sized scale? Everyone got government jobs and the government put the private sector to work.

    Finally, I will continue to attack folks like Rep Goodlatte (or the LA who wrote this tripe) when they try to spin their previous behavior. This is exactly why he and members of Congress like him are continually re-elected. They do not do what is in the country’s interests and then when they get caught they and their supporters claim that we shouldn’t look at their record.

  • Brian Kirwin

    Mark, who the hell if Phil Graham?

  • Mark

    Typical BK, doesn’t talk the issues, he just spins like a merry-go-round. Doesn’t change the fact that while he got rich at OUR expense thanks to the Gramm (or Graham?) – Leach – Bliley Act.