Ron Paul
2007 Ron Paul Chapter 38

Ron Paul Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Is Excessive

29 March 2007

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Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Is Excessive
29 March 2007

2007 Ron Paul 38:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, the FY 2008 budget is a monument to irresponsibility and profligacy. It shows that Congress remains oblivious to the economic troubles facing the Nation, and that political expediency trumps all common sense in Washington. To the extent that proponents and supporters of these unsustainable budget increases continue to win reelection, it also shows that many Americans unfortunately continue to believe government can provide them with a free lunch.

2007 Ron Paul 38:2
To summarize, Congress proposes spending roughly $3 trillion in 2008. When I first came to Congress in 1976, the Federal Government spent only about $300 billion. So spending has increased tenfold in 30 years, and tripled just since 1990.

2007 Ron Paul 38:3
About one-third of this $3 trillion is so-called discretionary spending; the remaining two- thirds is deemed “mandatory” entitlement spending, which means mostly Social Security and Medicare. I am sure many American voters would be shocked to know their elected representatives essentially have no say over two-thirds of the Federal budget, but that is indeed the case.

2007 Ron Paul 38:4
The most disturbing problem with the budget is the utter lack of concern for the coming entitlement meltdown. The official national debt figure, now approaching $9 trillion, reflects only what the Federal Government owes in current debts on money already borrowed. It does not reflect what the Federal Government has promised to pay millions of Americans in entitlement benefits down the road. Those future obligations put our real debt figure at roughly 50 trillion dollars — a staggering sum that is about as large as the total household net worth of the entire United States. Your share of this 50 trillion amounts to about $175,000.

2007 Ron Paul 38:5
For those who thought a Democratic Congress would end the war in Iraq, think again: their new budget proposes supplemental funds totaling about $150 billion in 2008 and $50 billion in 2009 for Iraq. This is in addition to the ordinary Department of Defense budget of more than $500 billion, which the Democrats propose increasing each year just like the Republicans.

2007 Ron Paul 38:6
The substitute Republican budget is not much better: while it does call for freezing some discretionary spending next year, it increases military spending to make up the difference. The bottom line is that both the Democratic and Republican budget proposals call for more total spending in 2008 than 2007.

2007 Ron Paul 38:7
My message to my colleagues is simple: If you claim to support smaller government, don’t introduce budgets that increase spending over the previous year. Can any fiscal conservative in Congress honestly believe that overall federal spending cannot be cut 25 percent? We could cut spending by two-thirds and still have a Federal Government as large as it was in 1990.

2007 Ron Paul 38:8
Congressional budgets essentially are meaningless documents, with no force of law beyond the coming fiscal year. Thus budget projections are nothing more than political posturing, designed to justify deficit spending in the near term by promising fiscal restraint in the future. But the time for thrift never seems to arrive: there is always some new domestic or foreign emergency that requires more spending than projected.

2007 Ron Paul 38:9
Nobody in Washington will look back 5 years from now and exclaim, “Gee whiz, back in 2007 we promised to balance the budget by 2012, so I guess we better stick to that pledge and stop spending so much this year.” The only certainty when it comes to Federal budgets is that Congress will spend every penny budgeted and more during the fiscal year in question. All projections about revenues, tax rates, and spending in the future are nothing more than empty promises. Congress will pay no attention whatsoever to the 2008 budget in coming years.

2007 Ron Paul 38:10
We should not let the debate over numbers distract us from the fundamental yet unspoken issues inherent in any budget proposal: What is the proper role for government in our society? Are the programs, agencies, and departments funded in the budget proposal constitutional? Are they effective? Could they operate with a smaller budget? Would the public even notice if certain items were eliminated altogether? These are the kinds of questions the American people should ask, even if Congress lacks the courage to apply any principles whatsoever to the budget process.

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