A group of Tea Party activists has spent the last several months getting public input (including an open website vote) on ways to cut the federal budget. They recently unveiled a draft version of their plan.
It’s quite ambitious. The group spends the first 9 pages of the document laying out the history of the project and the principles it was organized by. Then they dive into the specifics of the budget proposal.
I like their methodology and I think it shows that the Tea Party is capable of generating serious proposals, that it’s not a know-nothing, knee-jerk reactionary movement.
Now we are ready to spell out the specifics of our plan. Before we do, we want to highlight some of its big-picture benefits. Here’s how the Tea Party Budget dramatically changes Washington:
- Balances the budget in 2015, and keeps it balanced. Almost all of the proposed reforms take place in the first year, 2012, rather than after a phase-in, because it’s legally impossible to bind future Congresses. The best way to ensure reforms never happen is to postpone them till “tomorrow.”
- Reduces total federal outlays by about 15 percent in the first year. This may sound like a deep cut, until we recall that spending went up by 19 percent in 2009.
- Shrinks the government by 30 percent, relative to current law. Outlays shrink from today’s 24 percent of GDP to a more affordable 16 percent of GDP.
- Reduces gross debt from 99 percent of GDP to 75 percent of GDP.
- Reduces the publicly held portion of the debt from 68 percent of GDP to 47 percent of GDP. Reducing the debt is extremely important, because it’s the key to ensuring lower future interest rates and more robust economic growth.
Warning: the link goes to a PDF file.