When it comes to the issue of fiscal responsibility both Ron Paul and Mitt Romney understand that the spending of the U.S. federal government is out of control. The annual budget deficits are leading to an ever increasing national debt that is unsustainable. The federal spending must be cut massively in order to balance the budget and that means massive cuts to the size of the federal government.
There are three steps that must be taken in order to get to a point of fiscal responsibility.
- End deficit spending
- Reduce entitlement spending
- Reduce military spending
Ending deficit spending is simple, as an adult knows, just do not spend more money than you take in. Living within your means is the only responsible thing for any adult to do and it is no different for a government. Not only must our federal government balance the budget each year, but they need to run a surplus if we are ever to have a chance of paying down our national debt. This means we must spend significantly less than we take in each year.
Reducing entitlement spending is necessary, but difficult, as that requires American citizens to be willing to get less entitlements than they are expecting and have paid taxes for. Medicare and Medicaid account for about 23% of federal spending and Social Security accounts for about 20% of our federal spending. Combined they are taking up an increasing amount of our federal budget as the workforce of taxpayers is decreasing. Reform is essential and must be done in a way that does not cause harm to the very citizens that have come to be dependent upon the programs they have paid for and expect.
Reducing military spending is absolutely necessary as it accounts for about 20% of our federal spending. This amount increases as the federal government wages wars in more and more places around the globe. In addition to the existing wars going on, the U.S. has over 900 military bases in over 130 countries all over the world. The U.S. State Department recognizes 194 countries in the world, which means we have bases in over 67% of the countries on Earth. All of this military spending is unsustainable and unnecessary for our national defense.
While both Ron Paul and Mitt Romney recognize steps 1 and 2 are required for the federal government to become fiscally responsible, only Ron Paul is willing to take on step 3 to reduce the expense of military spending. The U.S. taxpayers simply can not afford to provide for the defense of nations that do not pay into our national treasury. Increasing our military spending will not only strain our budget, but it will continue to strain peace around the world. The path for peace and prosperity can only be achieved by including a reduction of military spending in our plan for fiscal responsibility.