In the early part of the 21st century, America had become the nation of buy now, pay later. Most people believed that spending beyond one’s means was the path to the American Dream. But the Great Recession forced people to rethink how they viewed spending. As families struggled to make ends meet, they realized that large sums of debt put their dreams at risk. Unfortunately, government has not learned the same lesson. Today, we face a national spending crisis. After recently raising the debt ceiling in order to prevent the United States from defaulting on its loans, the Federal Government’s refusal to cut spending is propelling the nation towards yet another financial day of reckoning. The situation is no better on the local level. States all around the country are facing spending problems caused by underfunded pensions and other entitlement obligations that threaten to bankrupt the public coffers. At the Wisconsin Club for Growth, we believe that we must act now in order to prevent our children’s future from being buried under a mountain of debt and skyrocketing taxes. We call upon government on all levels to cut spending, reform entitlement programs and find sustainable ways to meet their financial obligations.
The Federal Government is set to take in a record 2.7 trillion dollars in taxes in 2013, yet is still unable to pay the nations bills. Defying all logic, the budget proposed by President Obama will increase spending to a level where the nation’s debt will equal 78% of the economy. The president claims that increasing taxes on the rich will fix the budget, but history has shown that increasing taxes does not solve deficits and often leads to a decrease in revenue. The problem with the nation’s debt is not that government doesn’t tax enough; it’s that government cannot control its spending. For far too long, our elected officials in Washington, D.C. have refused to tackle the issue of entitlements, which will soon make up 53% of all federal spending. It is time to heed the voice of Congressman Paul Ryan and cure the nation of its addiction to spending.
At the state level, Wisconsin has taken great strides in fixing its budget deficit. Thanks to Governor Walker and other state leaders willingness to tackle the tough issues, Wisconsin is now in one of the best financial positions in the country. While other states are facing what economists are calling a ticking time bomb of debt, Wisconsin is well on its way to long term budget stability. But we are not out of the woods yet. Union activists, still bitter over having their power curtailed, risk plummeting Wisconsin back into the era of structural deficits and illegal borrowing schemes. Wisconsin will only continue its forward momentum if our leaders maintain the responsible spending policies of Act 10 and work towards further entitlement reform.
- Advocate for the reform of federal entitlement programs based upon the free market system and means-testing
- Call for the audit of government programs to prove their cost and effectiveness
- Push to follow the recommendations of the U.S. Government Accountability Office to reduce duplication, overlap and fragmentation in federal programs
- Encourage action on the recommendations of the Wisconsin Waste, Fraud and Abuse Elimination Task Force
- Help develop a photo I.D. system for Wisconsin assistance programs in order to prevent abuse
- Work to stiffen penalties on people who willfully try to defraud federal and state programs
- Demand local municipalities look to eliminate duplication through shared contracts and services