Cut, cap and balance: a line in the sand for fiscal conservatives

David Bozell Contributor
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In 2008, the American people elected Barack Obama to be our 44th president and we were told it was an historic moment. And so it was, but Obama will go down in history for different reasons than most people thought. He has directed the largest, most reckless spending binge in the country’s existence, bringing America to the edge of bankruptcy.

How mind-boggling is the national debt under Obama’s watch? To put our debt crisis in perspective, Kobe Bryant gets paid $25 million a year for playing professional basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers. If Kobe were to be a generous soul and offer to pay the debt himself by donating his salary, it would take him — wait for it — a whopping 560,000 seasons to pull it off. The interest alone on the national debt in 2010 was $413,954,825,362.17. That’s a $414 billion bill straight to you, Joe Taxpayer, for needless and long-forgotten government programs.

After he was elected, President Obama doubled down on the normal liberal appetite for more federal spending, dropping over $1 trillion on a disastrous “stimulus” package that did nothing whatsoever to create jobs and another $1 trillion on Obamacare, the government takeover of health care that America has overwhelmingly rejected, no matter how many ways Obama tries to sell it. Of course, then there are all the gimmicks of Obamacare. It’s anyone’s guess as to what the true price tag really is.

Most peg the national debt over $14,400,000,000,000. Now add in the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security, and the real debt figure comes in at over $60,000,000,000,000. Want more? Look no further than Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey, states that within the next eight to ten years will each begin to run out of money to pay retirees’ pension benefits. Can everyone say “bailout”? Add in the government guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a maze of other securities, state healthcare costs, and the real debt, at the federal, state and local levels combined, is well over $100,000,000,000,000. The number simply cannot be fathomed.

And now, for a fourth time during his administration, President Obama is asking Congress to raise the debt limit so the spending party can continue. Don’t be fooled. What Obama is really asking Congress for is another bailout for him, for his economic policy prescriptions, all of which have been epic failures.

The “line in the sand” moment for any self-identified “fiscal conservative” has arrived. ForAmerica, a social media army serving over 1.5 million people, is joining dedicated conservatives in Congress and other conservative organizations in supporting a plan to restore sanity to the country’s finances and ensure that we never endanger our future again. This initiative has three parts: 1. Cut current spending; 2. Cap future spending; and 3. Pass a balanced budget amendment to keep us from ever facing bankruptcy again. Anyone, Democrat or Republican, who calls him or herself “fiscally conservative” can easily support this approach. If they can’t support it, they’re not fiscal conservatives, period.

The first component makes serious and critically necessary cuts to federal spending. We are calling on members of Congress to support cutting the annual deficit in half by next year. Symbolic measures and lip service are no longer good enough and we cannot afford to wait to make reductions over a 10-year period. Next we call on Congress to enact real statutory spending caps. Requiring new obligations to be paid for ought to be standard operating procedure. Finally, Congress must pass a balanced budget amendment and send it to the states for ratification. Of the 50 states, 33 state legislatures are constitutionally required to balance their budgets. Requiring the federal government to abide by these same accounting rules would go a long way toward remedying our dire situation.

“The people are calling for it. They are clamoring for it. They’re demanding it,” said the author of this latest attempt at a balanced budget amendment, newly minted Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. He’s being supported by Tea Party stalwarts Jim DeMint and Rand Paul. Senator Lee continued: “The American people overwhelmingly demand it, and if members of Congress value their jobs, they are going to vote for it.”

Any member who votes to raise the debt ceiling before these conditions are met cannot credibly call themselves “fiscally conservative” and ForAmerica will make sure their constituents know it.

To be clear, ForAmerica will call on its more than 1.5 million-member online army to call out any representative or senator who votes to raise the debt limit without passage of cut, cap, and balance as supportive of the type of reckless spending championed by President Obama. The members of our army will go to all lengths to educate their fellow Americans about any politician who supports the status quo, which has us on the edge of bankruptcy. You are responsible for either preventing the fiscal train wreck or for causing it. There is no in between.

ForAmerica and other conservative groups will be watching, and any politician who supports President Obama’s disastrous fiscal agenda will be held accountable. We are confident voters will give them a one-way ticket back to private life.

David Bozell is Executive Director of ForAmerica, an online army of over 1.5 million strong and the most successful online conservative organization in the United States.