February 03, 2005

SOTU 2005: Fiscal Restraint

More SOTU commentary:

America's prosperity requires restraining the spending appetite of the federal government. I welcome the bipartisan enthusiasm for spending discipline. I will send you a budget that holds the growth of discretionary spending below inflation, makes tax relief permanent, and stays on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009. (Applause.) My budget substantially reduces or eliminates more than 150 government programs that are not getting results, or duplicate current efforts, or do not fulfill essential priorities. The principle here is clear: Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all. (Applause.)

Now there's a marker to keep an eye on. I'm really looking forward to getting that list of 150 government programs. Unfortunately, fiscal restraint in the non-entitlement sector isn't going to be enough. Fortunately, we've finally got a president who is taking the entitlement bull by the horns. More on that later but right now, as Social Security keeps building up a balance on its trust fund, keeping growth below inflation will be sufficient. If we wait to reform entitlements until those trust fund dollars start to be redeemed, actual current dollar cuts are going to be required avoid exploding the deficit or imposing ruinous tax increases.

Posted by TMLutas at February 3, 2005 08:51 AM