Republican Study Committee Alternative Budget: Methadone for Spending Junkies

The National Center’s Ryan Balis attended the Republican Study Committee’s alternative budget proposal press conference today, and filed a report and photo:

At a Capitol Hill press conference today, members of the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) introduced their alternative budget proposal, which aims to rein in the growth of federal government spending.

The RSC has named its budget plan the “Contract With America Renewed,” and it proposes (link downloads text document) $358 billion in savings over five years and a balanced federal budget by Fiscal Year 2011 without raising taxes.

Calling their proposal (link downloads text document) a “moral initiative” for the economic future of America’s families, RSC members want to end support for some 150 federal programs such as USAID and the Corporation for Project Broadcasting and end U.S. contributions to the International Development Association, Multilateral Development Banks and the Global Environmental Facility. The Departments of Commerce, Energy and Education would also be “significantly” restructured to eliminate unnecessary projects.

RSC members are hoping to restore fiscal discipline in Washington and to renew faith with the American public. “Reckless spending is mortgaging our future,” said RSC member Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ). Fellow member Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) echoed that “Congress [has] failed to make tough choices,” and it is, therefore, time for it to go on a “spending diet until our pants fit again.”

Reducing the size and scope of government are long overdue. According to Veronique de Rugy, a research scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, total non-defense discretionary spending has increased 27.3 percent under President George W. Bush and congressional Republicans (FY2001-06) – a larger increase than even the 21.4 percent under President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Let us hope that this fiscal diet does not prove to be too ambitious for the spending junkies on Capitol Hill.

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