NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Congress Should Balance the Budget

March 26, 2015

Will Congress ever get spending under control? While both chambers of Congress have recently introduced their latest budgets, it remains to be seen if their efforts will reverse the United States growing deficit.

Currently, the U.S. debt is $18.1 trillion and is expected to grow by one trillion over the next decade. However, Congress has an opportunity to reduce the debt and improve the economy by balancing the budget.

  • The congressional budget has the most direct impact on next year's discretionary spending. It establishes the maximum level allowed for defense and discretionary domestic programs.
  • Congress should certainly eliminate bad discretionary spending that benefits special interests at the expense of the broader public, although this spending is not driving the growing debt crisis the way entitlement spending is.
  • Entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and Social Security, are responsible for more than half of the projected growth in spending over the next decade. Including what the federal government is expected to pay to service the massive and growing debt, the share of projected spending growth due to these areas of the budget rises to 85 percent by 2025.

The budget is a critical tool in Congress's legislative arsenal to correct the current fiscal course. It is time to put the budget on a path to balance to protect Americans against undue debt and tax levels, and to unleash economic growth.

Source: Romina Boccia, "Why Budget Matters," Heritage Foundation, March 25, 2015. 

 

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