Republicans in Congress have a new gimmick called "cut, cap and balance." This means cut current spending, cap future spending and balance the budget every year by law. But the devil is in the details.
Cut spending: The Republicans in Congress have already said they want to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, Education Department, Energy Department and the brand new Consumers Affairs Department. In addition, they want to privatize a good portion of Obamacare, defund critical parts of Medicare and Medicaid and privatize portions of Social Security.
Cap spending: Cap spending for all of the above and more for the next 10 years.
Balance the budget: Admirable thought, but how do you do this with limited tax money in the federal coffers? Part of the Republican plan, according to Human Events, a conservative media outlet, is to absolutely restrict any form of revenue increase, whether it be taxes or closing loopholes. Missing from this plan are no restrictions on cutting taxes. A balanced budget amendment would require ratification by three-fourths of the states.
Not surprising, a July 18 CBS News poll found that 71 percent of voters disapproved of the Republicans' handling of debt talks, and 48 percent disapproved of the president's. A July 7-10 Gallup poll found that voters want cost-cutting, along with tax increases: Cuts, Republicans 74 percent; independents, 66 percent; Democrats, 54 percent. Tax increase, Republicans, 26 percent; independents, 34 percent; Democrats, 46 percent.
Does Congress even bother to listen to the voters?
Philip W. Wolfe