State Sen. Deb Fischer endorsed the GOP’s balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which they have slickly labeled “Cut, Cap and Balance.” But what Fischer hasn’t told you is that this extreme proposal would result in big cuts to Social Security and Medicare, as well as lock in the failed Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
One crucial flaw of “Cut, Cap and Balance” is that it requires a two-thirds super majority before any tax increase is approved. Simply stated, this super majority requirement makes it impossible for any president or Congress to reverse any of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Another feature of “Cut, Cap and Balance” that Fischer hasn’t mentioned is the provision capping spending combined with the requirement that any tax increase must be approved by two-thirds of the Congress.
Economists say that assuming defense spending wasn’t cut, we’d have to cut around 25 percent from these programs or more than $500 billion in order to reduce federal spending to levels we haven’t seen for more than 40 years.
If Fischer supports a balanced budget, why doesn’t she just propose one and tell us how she would cut $1 trillion from the federal budget? Instead, Fischer seems content to run a cynical campaign where she refuses to take any specific stands on the issues and is counting on the Super PACs to destroy her opponent, Bob Kerrey, with deceptive ads financed by out-of-state special interest groups.
Unlike Fischer, Kerrey made tough and courageous choices in his Senate career that helped bring about the last balanced budgets we had between 1998-2000. In 1990, Kerrey supported a budget plan sponsored by President George H.W. Bush that cut spending and raised taxes.
Three years later, during the first year of Bill Clinton’s presidency, Kerrey once again supported an unpopular budget that consisted of spending cuts and tax increases. In 1993, every Republican opposed President Clinton’s budget plan, claiming it would cause a deep recession.
What followed the passage of the 1993 Clinton budget package was the greatest peacetime economic boom in U.S. history. Kerrey is the proven conservative economic candidate for U.S. Senate.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The author is the newly elected second associate chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party.