In response to an email I received from Senator Rand Paul (RandPac) on his One Penny Budget Plan, I contacted Senator Alexander’s and Senator Corker’s DC offices to 1) find out their approach to deficit reduction and 2) encourage them to support Senator Paul’s legislation if they don’t have a better approach. In response, staffers at both senators’ offices stated they did not know the senators' position on deficit; or, if they were in support of Senator Paul’s legislation.
Next I checked their websites. Senator Corker’s policy page does offer the CAP Act that does limit federal spending as a percent of GDP (which sounds to me like an increase). Senator Alexander’s budget policy page says “…we need to fix the debt…” but I see no evidence of solution (not even support of CAP or One Penny plan). The most recent update on Senator Alexander’s page is May 2, 2017 – yes, over a year ago.
Next I contacted Rep. Fleischmann’s office. The staffer in the DC office did take my name, phone, and stated she would pass along my request for Rep. Fleischmann to support Senator Paul’s One Penny plan. Based on experience, I do expect a follow up from the congressman.
It is frustrating that none of the offices of my federal representatives seem to be well-versed on the topic of deficit and how to address. I consider the deficit one of the top three issues of our time and the lowest ranking staff member – especially those speaking with constituents - should know where these congressmen stand on this most critical and fundamental issue. And let’s be honest, the deficit was not created by Congress alone, it’s our budget and our money. So, let’s tell Congress to better manage our money and that we are asking them to tighten up like any family in a debt crisis would and support Senator Paul’s One Penny plan.
Senator Paul’s One Penny plan is simple – something I can understand. The plan will balance the federal budget in five years by cutting one penny out of every dollar that was to be spent in the budget. It takes what we spent in the previous year’s budget and asks us to spend one penny per dollar less. The plan also allows for flexibility to adjust and make slightly greater cuts in one area to account for increases elsewhere when needed. I’m sure this plan is not perfect or easy. None is. But it is reasonable, something we can all understand, and something that can be executed immediately with equitable impact to all. Is there anyone who really believes we cannot find one penny per dollar to pay down the deficit and free our children and grandchildren from this burden?