Don’t Get Too Carried Away Over Cut, Cap, And Balance

by John Hawkins | July 15, 2011 12:02 am

What is cut, cap, and balance[1]?

1. Cut – We must make discretionary and mandatory spending reductions that would cut the deficit in half next year.

2. Cap – We need statutory, enforceable caps to align federal spending with average revenues at 18% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with automatic spending reductions if the caps are breached.

3. Balance – We must send to the states a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) with strong protections against federal tax increases and a Spending Limitation Amendment (SLA) that aligns spending with average revenues as described above.

Is this a great idea? Absolutely. Would it be good for the country? Yes. Should conservatives support it? Definitely.

However, here’s the key question: What are the chances this will pass Congress?


It was zero when it was proposed, it’s zero now, it would be zero on August 2.

So, is it a good idea to talk this idea up? Yes. It’s good policy and maybe one day, we’ll be able to pass it. It also gives the GOP leadership more leverage in negotiations because they point to this and truthfully say that merely making cuts isn’t nearly as much as their caucus wants.

All that being said, to get something like this passed, we’d need the kind of numbers we have in the House, plus another 10-15 senators, and the presidency.

So, we’ve got to do what we can, with what we have, where we’re at.

We started by asking for 2 trillion in CBO scored cuts over a decade while the Democrats countered with no cuts at all. So, if you want to judge the GOP’s success, judge them by that standard, not by a good idea, that was never really on the table in the first place.

  1. cut, cap, and balance:

Source URL: