Goodlatte’s “balanced budget” hypocrisy

As he does at the start of every session of Congress, Congressman Goodlatte has introduced a “balanced budget” amendment to the US Constitution, requiring that Congress spend no more than it receives in revenues unless three-fifths majorities in both houses of Congress approve deficit spending.

Goodlatte piously proclaimed:

“It is time for Congress to finally put an end to fiscal irresponsibility and stop saddling future generations with crushing debts to pay for our current spending. We must rise above partisanship and join together to send a balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification.”

But here’s the thing about Goodlatte: his vaunted fiscal conservatism only seems to kick in when a Democrat happens to be president.

Goodlatte’s votes in Congress– along with those of other Republicans and some Democrats– helped turn the budget surplus that George W. Bush inherited from Bill Clinton in 2001 into the huge budget deficit that Barack Obama inherited from Bush in 2009.

While supporting Bush’s across-the-board tax cuts, which cost the Treasury $1.8 trillion in the first eight years, Goodlatte also voted for the president’s unfunded Medicare prescription drug program ($495 billion from general revenue through 2015), as well as the hugely expensive and unfunded wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (at least $1.6 trillion through 2014).

For Goodlatte, introducing a balanced budget amendment is like saying, “Stop me before I slash hundreds of billions in revenue and spend hundreds of billions we don’t have again.”

It will be interesting to see how Goodlatte votes if Donald Trump’s proceeds with his plans to further increase the federal debt by cutting taxes while boosting military and infrastructure spending and building a wall on the Mexican border.

2 thoughts on “Goodlatte’s “balanced budget” hypocrisy

  1. Amen. And in addition to the specifics you mentioned, there’s the fallout if the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) were to be repealed, which economists predict would increase the deficit substantially. However, Congress doesn’t want you to know that. They specifically directed their own Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that it was NOT to examine anything to do with the ACA, despite the CBO’s overall charter to look at changes in any laws that would cause more than a $5B difference in the budget. Can’t have that getting in the way of reduced taxes for the wealthy, with a consequent decrease in income to the government. Bob Goodlatte knows that, but will vote for his lobbyists, not for his “principles.” We need to keep pointing out his hypocrisy.

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  2. I should have provided a reference to the $5B number cited. It’s http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/todays-under-radar-assault-on-america.html . Good article to read in full.

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