Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) unveiled a balanced budget proposal, Plan to Restore America, October 17 that would cut nearly $1 trillion — $981 billion — from the President’s budget proposal in the single fiscal year of 2013 and eliminate the annual deficits completely two years later.
No other presidential candidate has revealed a balanced budget in any number of years, including the incumbent President Barack Obama. And no sitting congressman or senator has proposed a budget plan that would balance the budget in less than 30 years other than Congressman Paul’s son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (whose proposal would balance the budget within five years).
“A lot of people will say that cutting a trillion dollars in one year, that sounds radical,” the Texas congressman and obstetrician quipped at a press conference announcing the proposal. “But you know, I operate on the assumption that the radicals have been in charge way too long. Both from left and right, we have heard the arguments that deficits don’t really matter. And they really haven’t mattered for a very long time or we wouldn’t have this debt.”
President Barack Obama has proposed “spending cuts” of $3.1 trillion in recent months, but those cuts would be cuts from expected spending increases in the budget “baseline,” and Obama’s cuts are phased in over 10 years (and mostly on the back end of the 10 years). Paul’s cuts would be in a single budget year and cut real dollar spending by more than $800 billion from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2013.
Paul’s program would eliminate the Transportation Security Agency and all foreign aid, abolish five cabinet-level agencies, and freeze most mandatory spending at fiscal 2006 levels. “We get rid of five departments, and that’s a start,” he joked in his October 17 press conference. The Paul proposal would eliminate the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior, and Education, but would transfer some operations — such as Pell Grants and management of national parks — to other cabinet-level agencies. Paul said he would accomplish the cuts without federal employee layoffs, noting that “nobody gets laid off immediately, they get laid off through attrition.”
Included in a plan is a 10% reduction in the federal workforce, slashes in Congressional pay and perks, and curbs excessive federal travel. To stand with the American People, President Paul will take a salary of $39,336, approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker.
His plan lowers the corporate tax rate to 15%, making America competitive in the global market. It also allows American companies to repatriate capital without additional taxation, spurring trillions in new investment. It extends all Bush tax cuts, abolishes the Death Tax, and ends taxes on personal savings, allowing families to build a nest egg.