ALLEN WEST: Budget deal offers Americans a false choice

Once again, Americans are given the false choice of accepting mediocrity in legislation or face a government shutdown. Photo: AP

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., December 16, 2013 — With the latest budget deal, Americans are given the false choice of accepting mediocrity in legislation or another government shutdown. When will the elected officials in Washington finally understand that we need our fiscal issues solved and not just kicked down the road?

I would have voted “Nay” on the so-called budget deal, H.J. Resolution 59 which Congress passed on 12 December. I supported the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 and thought that was a good way ahead, even though a Balanced Budget Amendment was voted down.


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I completely disagree with cutting veteran retirement benefits as part of “budget savings.” The honored title of U.S. military veteran can be claimed by less than 4 percent of the U.S. population. As George Washington said, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.” This legislation shows how little the service and sacrifice of our veterans is being appreciated.

Furthermore, $23 billion in “cuts” over the next 10 years means $2.3 billion per year, less than a spit in the ocean of a budget that is in the trillions. To put it in perspective, if you earned $35,000 a year, it would be like cutting about $23.

It is even more laughable when you realize the Feds are printing $85 billion per month.

It is ridiculous to believe the progressive socialists who control the Democratic Party will ever support fiscal discipline. And I reject the argument that Republicans need to acquiesce now in order to win later; when Republicans last had control, they too overspent.


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Those currently in elected office are not offering solutions by way of sound economic policy to rectify the coming fiscal Armageddon that awaits America. Where is the reform of our tax code to spur on economic growth? What is the regulatory vision to balance the necessary spending while allowing the private sector to expand and get Americans back to work? When will the debt clock stop, and perhaps go in a different direction? The nation’s debt is closing in on $18 trillion, but our debt including unfunded liabilities is closer to $80 trillion.

Our total budget is divided between discretionary and mandatory spending. Mandatory spending includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and net interest on the debt, and represents about 60 percent of the total.

The remaining 40 percent for discretionary spending is divided between defense and non-defense. It seems to be almost an “urban legend” that defense spending gobbles up the lion’s share of the budget, but it represents about 20 percent of the budget and less than 4 percent of our GDP. By the way, foreign aid spending is only about 2 percent of the budget.

We have to tackle our spending, which is driving our borrowing, because one day the net interest on our debt will rise, exploding our budget on the mandatory spending side. We must reform our mandatory spending programs to ensure their future viability. The artificial economy created by printing $85 billion monthly in  “quantitative easing” is not the answer; we need courageous men and women who will pursue the right economic policies.

However, those who advocate for spending cuts and passing legislation that promotes a growth agenda are attacked and castigated as “extremists.” And the false choice given is a government “shutdown” if the gods of profligate spending are not allowed to continue their destructive ways.

Of course, the economics of Washington and these false choices are enabled by a complicit liberal progressive media that seeks not the empowerment of individual Americans, but their collective subjugation to the welfare nanny-state. And their apathy, combined with a lack of understanding, enhances the success of the media’s nefarious efforts.

My former XVIIIth Airborne Corps Artillery Commander MG (Ret.) Geoffrey Miller taught us a simple maxim, “Leaders know what right looks like.” It appears our elected officials in Washington have forgotten what right looks like because they continue to offer us false choices. But they continue to offer us these false choices because we too have forgotten.


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Allen B. West

Congressman Allen West served 22 years in the U.S. Army before being elected to the House of Representatives by the constituents of Florida's 22nd district. Throughout his time in Congress, West consistently stood for policies that would make the United States prosperous, strong and free, even when speaking up was not easy. He is a Fox News contributor, a regular contributor to PJ Media and a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.

LTC West also holds a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer College in political theory and military operations.

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