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.
United We Dream protesters carry a mock coffin to the office of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Monday, July 21, 2014, to hold one of their "funeral services for the Republican Party" due to GOP positions on immigration. The immigration reform group visited several other Senate Republican offices to hold similar funeral services.