Sanford to file federal balanced budget plan

Sanford to file federal balanced budget plan
April 14 15:19 2018 Print This Article

Representative Mark Sanford will file a House bill next week calling for a balanced federal budget within five years. Known as the “Penny Plan”, the legislation calls for a real reduction of federal spending of 1% each year for five years, which would bring the budget into balance during normal economic growth conditions. The measure calls for limiting federal spending to 18% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in subsequent years. The national debt now exceeds $21 Trillion and the budget deficit for the first half of fiscal year 2018 (which ends September 30) came in at about $600 Billion, despite record high tax revenue.

Sanford voted against the March 22 $1.3 Trillion “omnibus” spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, citing more than $300 Billion in spending growth from the previous budget year. Congressmen were only give 16 hours to review the 2200 page legislation. He was among 233 Representatives to vote for a balanced budget amendment resolution Thursday, well short of the two-thirds majority required (291 votes) to send it to the states for ratification. He believes the Penny Plan is the only tool which will prevent further accumulation of federal debt.

“We are rapidly approaching the day of reckoning with regard to federal spending,” Sanford said. He expressed concerns about the viability of the American dollar, long used as the world’s reserve currency, and the impact a devalued currency would have on inflation and the value of household life savings. The United States government will likely pay more than $500 Billion in interest this year on the $21 Trillion in debt, more than almost every federal agency or program. Sanford said that continuing on this path would amount to “financial Armageddon.”

The Penny Plan would give Congress the ability to be judicious about where spending cuts are made rather than mandate an across the board spending cut in every category. Senator Mike Enzi from Wyoming is likely to file a companion bill. To date, 28 state legislatures have called for a federal balanced budget amendment.