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The Debt Commission and Government Excess

6:30 AM, Dec 2, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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The debt commission's report, to be voted upon tomorrow by the commission's members, is a provocative proposal that should help to jump-start serious discussions about paying off (or at least not continuing to add to) our $13.8 trillion debt. In truth, the commission's report is the best that one could realistically hope for from an administration that has added to our debt in unprecedented fashion – even without counting the looming costs that Obamacare, should it manage to escape repeal, would spawn. 

The Debt Commission and Government Excess

On this date just two years ago, when then-President-elect Obama was assembling his team to take office, our debt was $10.6 trillion – or $3.2 trillion less than today. So, our national debt has increased a staggering 30 percent during just the first two years of his watch.

While the debt commission's efforts are laudable, however, its basic premise that we have both a spending and a revenue problem is mistaken. And its notion that 75 percent of our debt-reducing efforts need to come from spending cuts, while the other 25 percent need to come from tax increases, is only 75 percent right. What we have is not a spending and revenue problem, but merely a spending problem, and the way to address it is to limit the government's power to spend. One proposal that would do just that is the Limited Government Amendment, which I have explained here and have updated here – by adding a provision to set spending levels based on 2008 figures, rather than on the bloated figures of 2010.

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