We can’t preserve the American Dream, Speaker Boehner says, unless we get serious about solving our spending problem.
That’s why, from the start, the new Republican majority instituted real fiscal discipline, forcing President Obama to accept tight spending caps. Then we built on that success with more cuts and more reforms. “The Obama spending blitz is over,” The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore wrote. In fact, according to POLITICO, President Obama “will leave office with fewer real dollars for domestic appropriations than President George W. Bush had before him.”
Last year, the federal deficit fell to $488 billion, its lowest point since 2007. Of course, that’s still far too high, and the nation continues to face a long-term debt crisis, but we’re making progress.
Here are some of the things we have done to stop Washington’s spending binge:
1. We have cut government spending by more than $2.1 trillion and counting. Overall discretionary spending has been reduced by $176 billion since FY 2010. When projected out over 10 years, we’re on track to save taxpayers $2.13 trillion. These are the most significant spending reductions in modern history – more significant than under Reagan & O’Neill and Clinton & Gingrich. (H.R. 83, 113th Congress)
2. We have enacted the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades. Discretionary spending cuts are important, but to truly solve our spending problem, Speaker Boehner says, our entitlement programs “need to be fixed and put on a sustainable path, and we can in fact do that.” A good first step, the Medicare reforms enacted this spring could save taxpayers $2.9 trillion over the long term. That figure comes from Medicare’s own financial experts, and it shows why editorial boards are calling this reform a “milestone” for the country. (H.R. 2, 114th Congress)
3. We have passed the first 10-year joint balanced budget plan since 2001. This plan balances the budget without raising taxes, saves taxpayers more than $5 trillion, and ensures a strong national defense. Republicans in Congress got this done within four months of taking office, while President Obama has never proposed a budget that balances – ever. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote, “The comparison between undisciplined, out-of-control spending and a pro-growth plan to cut spending and reduce the size and scope of the federal government should hearten every conservative.” (S. Con. Res. 11, 114th Congress)
4. We have cut the cost of Congress. “I thought if we were going to make plans to cut the rest of the federal government,” Speaker Boehner says, “we ought to start with Congress first.” As a result, we’re now on track to save taxpayers $782 million, which represents a 14 percent cut in the cost of House operations. (H.R. 2550, 114th Congress)
5. We’ve brought transparency and accountability to the way taxpayer dollars are spent. In March 2009, President Obama – who actually campaigned on a pledge of earmark reform – signed an appropriations measure that included roughly 9,000 earmarks. The new Republican majority kept its word and immediately banned earmarks, eliminating a source of excessive spending and broken government. In addition, we implemented new rules to make it both easier to cut spending and harder to increase spending. And by instituting a more open and transparent process, we’ve boosted scrutiny of spending bills.