In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

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A Balanced Budget Amendment Doesn’t Have to Mean Higher Taxes – CFIF’s “One More Vote” Proposal Doesn’t Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, November 11 2010
Our deficit and debt problem isn’t one of insufficient taxation. It’s a problem of overspending.

A balanced budget amendment, in the wrong hands or crafted in the wrong form, can unfortunately provide a vehicle for big-government advocates to rationalize higher taxes. 

To illustrate, a federal government that dramatically expands spending only to throw up its hands and plead no alternative to tax hikes to satisfy a new balanced budget amendment is like an out-of-control teenager going on a credit card binge and using the inflated new balance to demand an allowance increase, lest dinnertime credit bureau calls start arriving.  A balanced budget is desirable, but not if it means even higher taxes. 

This week, that dilemma advanced to the forefront of political discourse with the preliminary release of the White House deficit commission proposal, as well as instructive comments from conservative commentators Ed Morrissey of Hot Air and Byron York of the Washington Examiner

Speaking at a Heritage Foundation seminar this week on the future of the Tea Party, Morrissey accurately noted that, “A balanced budget amendment isn’t going to fix the problem” because it could be “used as a lever for higher taxes.”  York agreed, saying that, “If you poll Republicans, most would favor a balanced budget amendment” that could divide established Republican leaders and Tea Party favorites in the new 2011 Congress. 

Morrissey’s and York’s concerns were immediately validated upon the release of the White House deficit commission’s interim report. 

The preliminary plan released by co-chairmen Alan Simpson and Clinton Administration Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles did well in attacking the unsustainable spending trajectories of such programs as Social Security and farm subsidies.  In addition, however, the proposal would increase capital gains and dividend taxes, gasoline taxes and the Social Security taxable wage base.  The plan also slows the rate at which tax brackets will adjust to inflation, thus raising taxes via “bracket creep.” 

As summarized by Americans for Tax Reform, the proposal “confirms what everyone has known – this commission is merely an excuse to raise net taxes on the American people.” 

The overriding problem with the commission’s plan is that it accepts the 2010 fiscal year as its spending base, thereby locking in the alarming spending increases of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime.  That includes the failed “stimulus” that attempted to spend our way to prosperity, the bailouts, the pet projects and everything else they’ve heaped into our budget.  Since 2008, federal spending has surged from approximately $25,000 per household to $30,000 per household, and jumped during that two-year span from its historical average of 20% of gross domestic product (GDP) to approximately 25% of GDP. 

Richard Rahn points out that, “Federal government spending and revenues in 1968 as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) were almost identical to the levels in 2008.”  Indeed, incoming federal revenues reached their all-time peak in 2007, years after the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that liberals attempt to scapegoat for our budgetary woes. 

Accordingly, our deficit and debt problem isn’t one of insufficient taxation.  It’s a problem of overspending. 

Fortunately, there’s another solution. 

We at CFIF have launched our “One More Vote” campaign, which refers to the fact that Congress in 1995 fell just one vote short of endorsing a balanced budget amendment and sending it to the states for ratification.  Under our proposal, a Constitutional amendment would require (1) a federal budget balanced annually, but also (2) a 60% supermajority vote in both the House of Representatives and Senate to create or increase taxes and (3) a 60% supermajority in both the House and Senate to raise the federal debt ceiling. 

Our 60% solution thus forces elected officials to restore fiscal sanity without relying upon economically-destructive tax hikes, and it saves our future generations from the unsustainable debt burdens presently amassing. 

The nation’s budget can be balanced without tax hikes.  It simply requires a return to spending sanity, and a Constitutional amendment cementing that restraint.  Enter CFIF’s “One More Vote.” 

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name 'Hillary Clinton' in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election.For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as 'She who must not be named' in scandals…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
— Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
 
Liberty Poll   

Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?