Coalition launches to promote “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge

posted at 9:45 pm on June 22, 2011 by Tina Korbe

As the August debt limit debate approaches and Congressional Democrats continue to clamor for a clean increase, more than 40 organizations today formally announced their support for a “Cut, Cap and Balance” approach to the issue — the same approach favored by the Republican Study Committee and solid conservatives like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).

At a press conference on Capitol Hill that also featured supportive lawmakers like Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), coalition leaders called on all members of Congress, candidates for federal office, presidential candidates and the public to pledge not to support a debt limit increase unless Congress first passes a plan to cut spending, institute statutory spending caps and initiate the balanced budget amendment process. The member groups — including FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Let Freedom Ring and the National Taxpayers Union — will bring the heat on Twitter and elsewhere to urge policymakers to commit to the pledge.

Pete Sepp, executive vice president of NTU, says the coalition conceived of a unified effort in part as a response to lackluster Congressional efforts to cut spending earlier this year.

“To be honest, this is motivated by a concern that after the underwhelming effort to try to reduce current-year federal spending by $100 billion … we needed to take a very strong stand and put down a marker,” Sepp said.

Some conservatives fret a balanced budget amendment will give Congress a license to raise taxes at will, but Sepp said the specific provisions of the coalition-backed plan prevent that. Those provisions require supermajorities in both houses of Congress to raise taxes and also limit spending to 18 percent of GDP, a limitation that would also require supermajorities to override.
“It would very clearly put the onus of budget balancing on the spending side of the ledger rather than on the revenue side,” Sepp said. “What’s important is we need to agree on the constitutional solution for the long-term. The history of the past 40 years [since the concept of a balanced budget amendment was first introduced] has shown that all the excuses offered not to do that are themselves absurd.”

Concerns about tax hikes aside, polls show strong support for each of the three elements of the pledge. An OnMessage, Inc., survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters, conducted on behalf of Let Freedom Ring, found 69 percent favor spending cuts, 66 percent favor caps and an overwhelming majority of 81 percent favor a balanced budget. A separate poll commissioned earlier this year by Ron Sachs Communications found a solid majority of 65 percent favor a constitutional amendment that requires Congress to balance the budget.

The coalition seeks to capitalize on that broad support by concentrating the message, Sepp said.

“This is an attempt to create a package that answers the question, ‘What do you, the people, want as a condition of raising the debt ceiling?’” Sepp said. “Prior to this time, there wasn’t that kind of unity. We had a lot of fragmented ideas and lots of channels of communication going to House and Senate leaders, especially on the Republican side. We wanted to create one channel with a message that will consistently reverberate into their offices.”
The coalition’s announcement comes at a particularly appropriate time, following fast on the heels of the release of the Congressional Budget Office’s latest budget outlook, an especially daunting one.
“I think the CBO report is properly understood to serve as a warning that another clean vote simply rubberstamping an increase on the debt won’t make the lines on those ugly charts go down anytime soon,” Sepp said.
The CBO report confirms the likelihood of a financial crisis if the administration and Congress don’t reverse course. The announcement of the coalition, perhaps, might motivate Congress to do just that.
Let Freedom Ring president Colin Hanna put it this way in a news release: “Today’s announcement represents an historic effort by dozens of outside groups, on behalf of millions of Americans, to unify around a simple principle: We recognize that half measures and timidity will guarantee a future debt crisis in America similar to what we have seen in Europe.”
Truthfully, it seems like wishful thinking to expect more than half measures and timidity during the debt ceiling debate — but a 47-group-strong demand for “Cut, Cap and Balance” can’t hurt.

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Look! Barry’s bringin’ the troops home!!! *

*Except he’s really not bringing “the troops” home.

SouthernGent on June 22, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Too little…

… too late.

Seven Percent Solution on June 22, 2011 at 9:51 PM

All talk, no action.

Knucklehead on June 22, 2011 at 9:53 PM

How about adding into the mixture the idea that the government must account according to the strictest accounting practices demanded by law for any entity. Thus, having $60trillion or more in liabilities off the books would no longer function.

Another good idea would be that the government can only budget based on the money they collected the prior year. Notice how extending the recession is benefiting Obama’s ideological desire to put as many Americans on the socialist welfare system as possible, and get them addicted so it will propel the socialist desires.

astonerii on June 22, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Do pledges really lead to anything? Have they? Or is it just a great way to posture while still letting the ship sink.

AshleyTKing on June 22, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Last chance, boys, or we’re done.

Bishop on June 22, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Never let a crisis go to waste

Roy Rogers on June 22, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Look! Barry’s bringin’ the troops home!!! *

*Except he’s really not bringing “the troops” home.

SouthernGent on June 22, 2011 at 9:50 PM

He’s just posturing for political gain. Anyone that truly cares about our troops and has a serious foreign policy, like Rand and Mike Lee, would start bring our troops back from Afghanistan and Iraq immediately. And we wouldn’t be doing whatever the hell it is we’re doing in Libya. And we wouldn’t be holding some press conference to announce to the world what we’re going to do.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Of the 40 groups involved, do you really have to feature the Paultards on the front page????

How about instead of philosophical Rothardian Anarchist you feature a Conservative instead?

jp on June 22, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Isn’t it funny how keeping the present debt ceiling as it stands is not even an option anymore?

equanimous on June 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM

It’s got to be something better for us than not raising the debt ceiling in the first place.

That’s been the mistake forever — get to a place where it hurts us 1x and them 3x, and allow them to get off Scott free when it only hurts us 1.5x.

cthulhu on June 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Ah yes….remember how they firmly and staunchly they implemented the “Pledge to America”?

Screw your pledges and do the hard the work of turning this nightmare off!

katy on June 22, 2011 at 10:01 PM

KingGold on June 22, 2011 at 9:58 PM

:)

CTSherman on June 22, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Of the 40 groups involved, do you really have to feature the Paultards on the front page????

How about instead of philosophical Rothardian Anarchist you feature a Conservative instead?

jp on June 22, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Would Jim DeMint suit your tastes or is he too far off in libertarian land?

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2011 at 10:02 PM

We’ll end up with $352 Million in “cuts”…The Spelunker of the House won’t do more…And, McConnell will want to go home…

Gohawgs on June 22, 2011 at 10:02 PM

“This is an attempt to create a package that answers the question, ‘What do you, the people, want as a condition of raising the debt ceiling?’” Sepp said

How about DO NOT RAISE THE DEBT CEILING

equanimous on June 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

http://www.cutcapbalancepledge.com/ seems to be down…

KeepOhioRed on June 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Some conservatives fret a balanced budget amendment will give Congress a license to raise taxes at will

Oh, I don’t doubt they will try that a time or two. Then they will be unemployed and the new Congress would adjust the correct side of the ledger.

What we really need to do is teach our children that the government is NOT responsible for their job, their income, or their retirement. You are responsible for these things yourself.

crosspatch on June 22, 2011 at 10:05 PM

I hope Mittens doesn’t sign this pledge either…

Khun Joe on June 22, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Anyone else notice the drop off on comments on some of the threads around here…?

“…— while still respecting the personhood of immigrants, many of whom have found themselves one-time rule-breakers who now live in a shadowland of uncertainty themselves.”

… Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on June 22, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Isn’t the debt ceiling itself a CAP, and by not raising it the country would be forced to CUT spending and compel government to BALANCE the budget?

equanimous on June 22, 2011 at 10:13 PM

As the August debt limit debate approaches and Congressional Democrats continue to clamor for a clean increase
=============

Meanwhile…………………………

Senators Boxer and Feinstein Break Out The Flip Flps
April 13th, 2011
******************
*******************
*******************

As Spring has finally arrived, Californians are cleaning out their garages, planting flowers and getting ready for some fun in the sun. But is it time to break out the flip flops yet? For Senators Boxer and Feinstein it may be.

Congress is gearing up to debate raising the debt ceiling in the coming weeks as the current ceiling of $14.3 trillion will be surpassed by mid-May. Both California senators have not officially announced where they stand on this issue yet, but if they follow the president’s lead they will most likely vote for it.

Boxer has already criticized the House GOP by saying, “I am so tired of the hypocrisy,” due to their opposition to raising the debt ceiling.

This should come to no surprise to any one.

But wait a minute…

Back in 2006 when Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling to $8.9 trillion, Boxer and Feinstein voted AGAINST it.

Feinstein in 2006 ripped the Bush administration by saying, “[The] Administration has chosen to continue down an unsustainable economic path…our nation is going in the wrong direction. The signals grow more evident each day. Deficits are at record levels. The debt is reaching astronomic heights.”

So is it time for the California senators to break out their flip flops? We will see how they eventually vote but I would start dusting them off.
——————————–

http://redcounty.com/content/senators-boxer-and-feinstein-break-out-flip-flops

=======================================

Senator Barack Obama Explaining his 2006 Vote Against Raising the Debt Limit
Jan 4 2011
***********

From Sen. Obama’s Floor Speech, March 20, 2006:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
(More……………)

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/256288/senator-barack-obama-explaining-his-2006-vote-against-raising-debt-limit-andrew-c-mcca

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Last chance, boys, or we’re done.

Bishop on June 22, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Well said. I hope they listen soon. If they don’t you will need to start working on that saw furiously.

antisocial on June 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Anyone think Romney would follow this or support it? Anyone anyone? Bueller, Bueller?

astonerii on June 22, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Some conservatives fret a balanced budget amendment will give Congress a license to raise taxes at will, but Sepp said the specific provisions of the coalition-backed plan prevent that.

Another good idea would be that the government can only budget based on the money they collected the prior year.

astonerii on June 22, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Even without the tax preventative, the notion astonerii mentions would suffice. Right now, tax policy and spending are separate. Tie them together, as they should be, and that would force people to decide if money out of their pocket is worth certain programs. As it is, people don’t want to be taxed and they don’t want their programs tinkered with either.

cartooner on June 22, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Anyone else notice the drop off on comments on some of the threads around here…?

“…— while still respecting the personhood of immigrants, many of whom have found themselves one-time rule-breakers who now live in a shadowland of uncertainty themselves.”
… Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on June 22, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Seven Percent Solution:According to last nights Top of the
Hour News Spot,on AM Talk Radio,the
Sheriff stated that McCain was right,
it was an illegall that set the fire!
—–:)
============================================================

Sheriff Dever: AZ Fire Started by Illegal Aliens or Smugglers (Video: backs up McCain)
***********************************

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2737983/posts

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Anyone think Romney would follow this or support it? Anyone anyone? Bueller, Bueller?

astonerii on June 22, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Uh… I think he called in sick.

cartooner on June 22, 2011 at 10:19 PM

What we need to do is teach our children that government is all about force and coercion. Government is NOT some super warm and fuzzy service agency that we can all arrange to have massage our every irritation and scratch our every itch.
GOVERNMENT IS FORCE…..PURE AND SIMPLE!!!
In order to provide some service to my neighbor, government must steal my property from me under threat of life and limb. In order to buy my vote, government must make my neighbor poorer. It’s a closed system….a zero-sum game!
That’s what our children need to know!

Lew on June 22, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Would Jim DeMint suit your tastes or is he too far off in libertarian land?

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Demint would be much better and more representative being a Conservative, as opposed to Lew Rockwell’s right hand man.

jp on June 22, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Anyone think Romney would follow this or support it? Anyone anyone? Bueller, Bueller?

astonerii on June 22, 2011 at 10:16 PM

He will support it after it passes kind of like his endorsements…

bluemarlin on June 22, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Despite our nation’s staggering $14.4 trillion debt, there are many in the Obama Administration and Congress who want to raise our nation’s debt limit without any spending cuts or reforms.

http://www.cutcapbalancepledge.com/
===================================

Meanwhile,Hopey states back in 2006.
————————————–

From Sen. Obama’s Floor Speech, March 20, 2006:
———————————————–

The fact that we are here today to debate

raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.
*********

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
*************************

YES LEADERSHIP FAILURE AND AMERICA DOES DESERVE BETTER!

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 10:25 PM

bluemarlin on June 22, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Ouch, remind me one step in advance before I piss you off… That was sweet.

astonerii on June 22, 2011 at 10:29 PM

“Let’s Cap n Trade”, says the freshman Republicans. “Why, this dome is so awesome. Has anyone seen Nancy Pelosi in person? Wow. Did you know anyone who’s anyone has an entourage of staffers? You do realize, you can’t get close to her, not even for a picture, smiling close-up (who wouldn’t want that, wow?)” Start something. You mean, bring up some topic on the Congressional floor against these warriors, you’ve got to be kidding!!!! I’ve got this Senate cafeteria to even feel comfortable around, what in the flame are you complaining about? Just like high-school, you’re either sitting with the “popular” table or you’re sitting with the nerds. (Never interchangeable). But the public has always loved the beauty, hardly ever employs these people, but wants to see them on the t.v. set and drool, nonetheless. I never read about sexual satisfaction, only longings over women, especially, who view their own bodies as a shrine. A shrine to be embellished, relished, polished. It never hits me that they’d care one iota about the sexual needs of their mates….only to allure. It seems to be an all consuming project………clothes, work-outs, nails, make-up, personal camera person. Yet, you men fantasize over these females. I guess that is the only route to go. You can clobber me over this, however, I am not a 200lb., yes, it is a man, I’ll take the abuse person. I am a rational woman, who gets “hit upon” every single time I go out in the world, from teenagers to seniors. No brag. Just fact.

betsyz on June 22, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Fiscal responsibility ??

* Democrats call for new stimulus
WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) – Democratic leaders called on Wednesday for new spending and tax cuts to boost the sluggish U.S. economy, setting up a fresh hurdle for bipartisan efforts to head off a government debt default this summer.

All I can say is … Dude ! … these guys really belief in that never waste a crisis, even went it’s a debt crisis.

J_Crater on June 22, 2011 at 10:32 PM

bluemarlin on June 22, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Ouch, remind me one step in advance before I piss you off… That was sweet.

astonerii on June 22, 2011 at 10:29 PM

LOL

bluemarlin on June 22, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Slap them with the same requirement that they require of publicly held companies which the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

If we got our government to do what they require of private citizens and publicly held companies, we would have solved the world’s problems ny now..

Mcguyver on June 22, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Of the 40 groups involved, do you really have to feature the Paultards on the front page????

How about instead of philosophical Rothardian Anarchist you feature a Conservative instead?

jp on June 22, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Paranoid much?

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 11:49 PM

What about budget reconciliation that can be done once per year with a bare 50% majority.

Plus you could change the law itself with a 50% majority.

I’m not sure why it would prevent raising taxes unless you amended the Constitution and even then you better include “fees” in there aka California judges ruling.

Spathi on June 23, 2011 at 12:17 AM

Do not increase the debt ceiling.

Government does not have to spend money on very much, and living within its means is what everyone ELSE in this country has to do and we expect OUR government to do the very same thing.

Live with what you take in… surely you can run a government on $2 trillion/year, no?

ajacksonian on June 23, 2011 at 5:30 AM

Are we about to see a Republican caused slashing of our defense budget? (They made us do it to save your social security!)

These socialist people aren’t stupid -they just appear that way?

Don L on June 23, 2011 at 7:35 AM