Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Balanced Budget

This is one idea that is a winner and one that the Democrats have co-opted from conservatives. I think it's safe to say that everyone understands that you can't spend more than what you earn. If you do, you go bankrupt. The government is no different, and we should make the same argument.

It's irresponsible and reckless to run a country on borrowed money. Our party believes in fiscal responsibility and that's why we are for a balanced budget amendment. Bottom line is this: If you have to live on a budget, so do we.
- Paid for by The New Liberal Democrats
On the practical side a balanced budget accomplishes a bunch of things.

First, it forces the country to pay for the services it demands from government which imposes an immediate cost. "immediate" is important. Who will want to repeal a handout they have gotten for years? Who will remember why their taxes are being raised five years after the fact? No one. Transparency (another huge winning argument) dictates that we try as best as possible to tie cause and effect.

While I know that higher taxes lead to lower economic growth, higher taxes also change people's minds. Especially the minds of people who pay them. The sooner taxpayers feel the bite of higher taxes, the weightier the argument to lower them (by cutting spending) becomes. You take away the false promise of liberals that more and more government services are a free lunch. You make them defend having their cake and 10% unemployment.

Finally, your political brand is strengthened. You are fiscally responsible, like the head of a household who pays the bills when they come due. People understand this and they relate to it.


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