Much is made of a question in a Republican presidential debate in which the candidates were asked if they would accept a debt reduction deal that had $10 in spending cuts for one dollar in tax increases. The right answer would have been: The acceptable amount of anti-growth tax increases is zero. However, revenue increases that come from eliminating market-distorting tax preferences and from pro-growth tax changes, combined with a real entitlement spending overhaul, is indeed a grand bargain.
We must not lose sight of the critical nature of entitlement spending changes. We cannot tax our way out of our debt problem — the total of Obama’s tax hike package covers only 8 percent of the deficit. Big time economic growth is essential to eliminating the debt, but even that will not do it alone. Pro-growth tax policy must be coupled with meaningful restraints on entitlement spending. Our entitlement-driven unfunded liabilities exceed the net worth of every man, woman and child in our country.
If the president and Congress really want to put our country on a sustainable fiscal path, there is a way forward. The time to start down that long and difficult road is now. It is our only path to prosperity.
Chris Chocola, a former Republican House member from Indiana, is president of the Club for Growth.
Visitors get their first look at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which opened to the public on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. The new memorial is located off Independence Ave. SW between the Rayburn House Office Building and HHS. Buy photo here.