The Spending Control Amendment

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wonderwench, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. wonderwench
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    wonderwench Guest

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    Rep. Cox's recent speech regarding the Spending Control Amendment - a long but worth read.


    The title of my speech is an allusion to the famous passage in President Clinton's 1996 State of the Union address. We all remember that he said -- right on the heels of his wife's attempt to have the federal government take over responsibility for 1/6 of the nation's economy: "The era of big government is over."

    That line recalls similar sentiments expressed by such earlier conservative presidents as Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge, and Abraham Lincoln -- with the difference being that the latter three actually meant it.

    But how many of you remember not just Clinton's famous line, but the entire passage, in proper context? It went as follows:

    "We know big government does not have all the answers.

    "We know there's not a program for every problem.

    "We have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington.

    "And we have to give the American people one that lives within its means.

    "The era of big government is over."

    I remember that moment vividly. I was, of course, sitting in the House chamber, about 20 feet from the President, when he spoke those words. He was reading from the TelePrompter, and his line of sight over the Plexiglas extended directly to my reserved place at the Leadership table, where I was seated as Chairman of the House Policy Committee.

    Because Bill Clinton was very comfortable using the TelePrompter, he routinely made eye contact with the Members sitting in the chamber. He looked me directly in the eye, and at that moment, I could see that he was enormously satisfied -- presumably, with himself, for having the audacity to say this.

    Yet in retrospect, when Bill Clinton declared, "the era of big government is over," he was right. For now, we are living in the era of really big government.

    (snip)

    But it's high time we get back to pruning back the waste of government. It can be done. We did it in 1995, the first year of the Republican House majority. And here's how I propose we do it now:

    First, we get specific about the goal. We go back to using the right words: limited government. We don't just want fiscal restraint for the sake of itself; we want its result: smaller government.

    Next, we confirm our judges. We commit to taking seriously the constraints on federal power that the Framers placed in the Constitution to protect our liberties. Nothing is more important to that objective than ensuring the integrity of the third branch of government, our judiciary.

    Third, we need to stop looking for 218 conservative votes in the House and 60 conservative votes in the Senate. That's a cop-out. We have conservatives in the Leadership of the House, the Senate, and the White House. We need to start following a veto strategy that requires only one-third of the Congress, and the President, working together to control spending. If we know what we want, and stick to our guns, we have the power to succeed.

    To this end, I am organizing 145 of my colleagues -- one-third plus one of the House -- to sign a pledge to President Bush that we will vote to sustain any veto he casts to control spending. He will know he has our support and backing.

    Fourth, we need to amend the Constitution to control spending. The Spending Control Amendment that I will soon introduce is modeled on California's constitutional spending limit -- approved with a 75%-25% popular vote in 1979. (The 1990 repeal of the California limit led to runaway spending and, ultimately, the Davis recall.)

    Colorado's similar 1992 constitutional spending limit (which caps tax revenue at the prior year's level, adjusted for inflation and population growth, and refunds surpluses) is a huge success; recent polling shows 75% support.

    The Spending Control Amendment will limit spending increases to the prior year's level, plus inflation and population growth. Following the model of the Balanced Budget Amendment, additional spending would require a 3/5 vote in Congress.

    Fifth, even before we complete the process of amending the Constitution, we need to enact legislation to put enforcement teeth in our budget process. The budget should be an enforceable law, not a non-binding resolution. To enforce budget limits, a 3/5 supermajority would be needed to exceed budget caps. And the president would be given authority for line item reduction, to cut back spending to levels enacted in the budget.

    And if Congress and the President can't agree on spending within the legal timeframe, an Automatic Continuing Resolution would freeze spending at current levels for the next year.

    Sixth and finally, we need to institute an annual CPAC Survivor competition. Once a year, right about this time, you get to vote and throw one lawmaker off the island.

    That should get things started.

    I will need your help. You can help right now when you return to your homes by letting your elected officials know that you back them on this. Let them know that reining in the government is a serious priority. Remind them of the overarching commitment to individual liberty that was the genius of the American Revolution.

    I believe we can return to the principles laid out for us by our Founding Fathers. I believe we can get the big government elephant out of the living room.

    The Era of Big Government will really be over when our president -- whoever he or she may be --is one day in the future delivering the State of the Union address.

    The president surveys the gathered body of House and Senate ... then turns to the minority side on the left of the chamber, which now occupies only about fours rows. He looks past the TelePrompter, not needing to see the words, as they've been written on his heart since he was elected.

    He levels a gaze at the big-spending liberal ... and, with a voice rich with resolve and assurance, says:

    "We know big government does not have all the answers. It really doesn't even have many answers at all. Not good ones, anyway.

    "We know there's not a program for every problem. And we've concluded, after all these years, that that's a really good thing.

    "So from now on, the game plan is to stick with what the Founding Fathers wanted us to do.

    "Not surprisingly, those are the very things we've been good at all along.

    "Good evening ... and God bless America."


    http://www.techcentralstation.com/020404D.html
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Chris Cox for Preisdent, 2008!

    And Jeb Bush for VP! That way we can have Cox and Bush representing the GOP!

    :thup:
     
  3. Moi
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    Moi Active Member

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    Very contemplative ...let's see where it goes.
     
  4. wonderwench
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    I find Cox's speech to be quite refreshing.

    Sadly, the entrenched career politicos, the bureaucrats and the parasitic classes will fight his program tooth and nail.
     
  5. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    :clap1: Totally out of the blue, but a great idea.
     
  6. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    There would have to be two contigencies included.

    1.) Emergency spending in times of war or other crisis.

    2.) The understanding of and authorization for deficit spending that is necessary for spurring economic growth in times of [Democrat induced, /snicker] recession.

    But I agree...

    "that government which governs least, governs best."
     
  7. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    Congress doesn't have Constitutional authority to spend about 90 percent of what it spends to begin with. What makes anyone think an amendment would change its appetite? Does anyone really think the founding fathers envisioned us forking over a fourth to a HALF of our incomes to the central government? No way.

    Government spending is like a tick. It's not ever going to get smaller. It's just going to pop some day.
     

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