The Federal Budget
Congress should enact a peace and prosperity budget that
• keeps the budget balanced for at least the next 10 years, • reduces the size of government from 20 to 15 percent of gross domestic product over five years, • eliminates more than 200 unnecessary and unconstitutional programs, • reduces the federal tax burden substantially and in ways that would promote economic growth, • includes a tax and expenditure limitation measure that limits federal spending growth to the rate of annual inflation plus population growth, • reduces the national debt through federal asset sales, and • rebates all tax surpluses to taxpayers at the end of each fiscal year with each taxpayer's rebate determined as a share of the total federal taxes he or she paid during the year.
We are now entering the fourth year of budget surplus politics in Washington. For 30 years the annual federal budget deficits set the parameters of the domestic agenda in Washington. The sea of red ink became a symbol of an out-of-control federal government. Now with massive waves of tax revenues pouring into the federal coffers, the crusade for fiscal restraint has lost much of its political appeal. Big government seems more affordable than ever before.
This era of surplus politics has not been kind to those who wish to see the role of the federal government in our lives diminished. The federal budget has exploded by some $350 billion since the Republicans took over Congress in 1995. The growth has been most pronounced in the very types of social welfare and income redistribution programs that Republican leaders pledged to curtail in the Contract with America.