President Biden and his party have driven a pandemic-damaged U.S. economy into a ditch. Soaring inflation and record fuel prices are just the most glaring symptoms of their fiscal ineptitude. Fellow Democrats panicking over their political vulnerability to retribution at the ballot box could demonstrate a good-faith intention to make amends by drafting a responsible federal budget. Since they love to borrow, Democrats could benefit by bumming a commonsense measure off a Republican colleague. It could save their jobs and, possibly, the republic.
Budget hawk Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, introduced a proposal in June designed to balance the budget in five years. The Six Penny Plan calls for reducing each dollar of federal spending by six cents in order to nullify the effects of pandemic-triggered overspending that has vaulted the national debt above $30 trillion.
“Washington’s addiction to spending is hurting our economy and depleting our currency. Inflation is stealing every American’s purchasing power and financial security,” said Dr. Paul in a statement defending his plan. “And yet, no Democrat or Republican has produced a federal budget; my Six Penny Plan is the only one.”
The Paul plan would have restored federal spending to its pre-pandemic level of 2019. Those were happier times — before a million Americans were killed by COVID-19, before George Floyd-triggered race riots set the nation ablaze during the summer of 2020, and before election anomalies roiled the orderly process of presidential succession. With national debt shy of $23 trillion then, life was, comparatively speaking, a stroll in the park.
Sadly, the U.S. Senate voted the Paul bill down, 29-67, with all Democrats voting “nay.” Consequently, Americans face an additional $40 trillion in national debt by the end of fiscal 2032, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell further tarnished the Republican brand by leading a cadre of party members in joining the opposition.
Nonetheless, it is Mr. Biden’s donkey party — which controls Washington and is primarily responsible for the nation’s economic plunge — that is headed for a painful thrashing in November. A recent Rasmussen poll found 91% of likely voters agree that inflation is a concern, and 69% describe themselves as very concerned. With the consumer price index up 8.6% in May and gasoline in particular more than 60% higher than a year ago, Americans are rightly worried about their financial future.
With Rasmussen also finding that Mr. Biden is dragging around a cumbersome 40% approval rating and 69% of respondents are convinced the nation is on the wrong track, Democrats are in desperate need of a course correction.
Revisiting the proposal to slice six cents from each dollar of spending could go a long way toward convincing voters that the president and his party are serious about avoiding the recession that looms closer by the day. Or they can simply line up for their upcoming comeuppance.