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No More 'Phony' Spending Cuts

Time for real spending caps and structural changes to entitlements

1:30 PM, Jul 8, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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WEEKLY STANDARD executive editor Fred Barnes writes in the Wall Street Journal today:

So here are the two relevant lessons for the ongoing discussions on raising the debt ceiling between Congress and the White House: 1) spending does little to spur economic growth and job creation and 2) cuts are fleeting and quickly overwhelmed by more spending. Thus the solution to the spending problem is straightforward: Rather than temporary cuts, what's needed are a permanent cap on spending and structural changes in entitlement programs.

The key word is "permanent." And to work, a cap must be enforceable.

Caps on spending come in different sizes, all of them likely to be opposed by Mr. Obama and most Democrats. The Republican Study Committee, the caucus of House conservatives, wants a cap at 18% of GDP—the average level of tax revenues in recent decades—with automatic cuts if spending exceeds the cap. To waive the cap, a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress would be required.

Barnes notes that it won't be easy to get Obama and Democrats to agree to a spending cap, but the GOP should certainly try. There's much more at the link -- including some interesting historical analysis -- so be sure and read the whole thing.

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