Friday, June 24, 2011

Cut, Cap, and Balance

Senator Jim DeMint was on Hannity tonight promoting a new website - a movement, really - called  Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge.  It's a bold plan to set us back on the road to fiscal responsibility:
"We believe that the “Cut, Cap, Balance” plan for substantial spending cuts in FY 2012, a statutory spending cap, and Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution is the minimum necessary precondition to raising the debt limit. The ultimate goal is to get us back to a point where increases in the debt limit are no longer necessary."

The group hopes to make this the focus of a national debate during next year's election cycle.  It is asking legislators, candidates and ordinary citizens to take the pledge:

  1. Cut - Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter.
  2. Cap - Enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget.
  3. Balance - Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.
So far three presidential candidates have signed on - Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain,  as well as 15 House members and 11 Senators. [UPDATE: Rick Santorum has also signed]  I hope in the coming days that I will see Rep. Jim Renacci from my district and Ohio Senator Rob Portman added to the list.  Both campaigned as fiscal conservatives and stressed the need to cut federal spending.  Time to walk the talk, gentlemen. 

Also notable is the list of 2012 Congressional candidates.  On the U.S. Senate list we find both Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and former OH State Senator Kevin Coughlin.  So....I guess it's official that Mandel is running for the Senate?  He's been evasive when questioned about it, but all signs have pointed to him running.  This is just one more indication that he's in.  That he's boldly jumping in with DeMint, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul at the outset of the race gives us an indication of how he might position himself as a candidate and if elected,  with whom he might align himself.  This is a GOOD development!  After years of suffering through Sherrod Brown, Ohio could use a Marco Rubio-style senator of our own, couldn't we?  

Let's be honest here.  A balanced budget amendment is a long shot.  Amending the Constitution is a very difficult process by design.  Either two-thirds of both houses of Congress or two-thirds of the state legislatures must propose the amendment.  Then, three-fourths of the state legislatures must approve it.  But the 26th amendment, which gave 18-year-olds the right to vote,  only took four months, so it's not an impossible task.

And the first two parts of the pledge - cut and cap - are within reach if the Republicans will hold the line and stand on the promises they made when they were elected in 2010.

Take a few minutes to check out the website.  If your senator or representative has not signed on,  call, send an e-mail or Facebook message or tweet them.  It only takes a minute and a few dozen calls and messages can make a huge difference.  Also, share the website with all your Facebook and Twitter friends.

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