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.
—Congressman Bob Goodlatte, introducing a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the Constitution on January 3, 2017
As I noted at the time, Goodlatte’s 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.”
Then in November Goodlatte voted for the Republicans’ budget-busting tax plan, which promises to add up to $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.
Finally– as if to make sure we understood how phony his pious anti-deficit talk really is– Goodlatte joined in voting Friday morning for $300 billion in additional spending over the next two years– with no additional revenue to cover it.
GOP Senator Rand Paul was quite willing to call out the hypocrisy of Goodlatte and other Republican “fiscal hawks” who voted for spending.
“I can’t in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits,” he said on the Senate floor.
Bottom line: If, during his final months in Congress, Goodlatte dares to complain about out-of-control federal spending, his constituents will be perfectly justified in laughing in his face.