With all its wealth and natural resources, the United States is on a red ink spending course that can only lead to financial disaster. In only two of the past 17 years has the government taken in more money than it has spent.
Among the issues for sober contemplation as you plan your Tuesday vote in presidential, senatorial, and congressional races, the Herald urges you give high priority to the over spending problem.
Have a look at what’s happening and calculate where we’ll be, even in another 10 or 20 years, unless the people – here in Utah as well as across the country – change the course by electing candidates who will insist on economy.
1946 – $55 billion, as we wrapped up the farflung World War II.
1956 – $70 billion.
1966 – $134 billion.
Fiscal year just ended – $365.6 billion
New current fiscal year budget – $399.9 billion, with receipts pegged at $352.5 billion for a calculated deficit of $47.5 billion. That deficit is only $7.5 billion less than the entire federal budget just three decades ago. And in peacetime! What if we were called upon to defend ourselves in a major war?
Note another side of the frightening picture, the public debt:
1946 — $269.4 billion, up from $42.9 billion in 1940 and $16.1 billion in 1930.
1956 – $271 billion.
1966 – $316 billion.
1976 – $634.7 billion in September. (The debt amounted to $2496 per capital in 1975).
In the fiscal year just ended, we paid $37 billion just for interest on the national debt. This comes from current budgeted expenditures.
Wh0’s responsible for the climb in the federal budget from $70 billion to nearly $400 billion in just 20 years? And the shameful deficit spending that has plunged us $363 billion deeper in debt in those two decades?
The blame for inflation-fueling over-spending must be shared collectively, but ultimately it boils down to the administration and particularly to big-spending policies of Congress.
The National Associated Businessmen, a respected non partisan group, rates members of Congress on what it considers the 12 most important spending issues each year. One who voted on the side of economy on all issues rates 100 per cent. For the 94th Congress, 31 senators and 121 congressmen earned NAB “watchdog” awards for scoring 66 per cent or better, in the Senate: 7 Democrats, 23 Republicans, and one independent. And in the House, 14 Democrats and 107 Republicans. (Note the minority of Democrats despite the overwhelming majority of Demos in Congress).
How did Utahns score? Sen. Jake Garn, 100 per cent; Sen. Frank E. Moss, 30 per cent; Rep. Allan T. Howe, 20 per cent; and Rep. Gunn McKay. 27.3 per cent. Judging by this report, the latter three obviously have not demonstrated a strong enough effort to balance the budget. We believe Utahns should consider retiring them and giving others a chance.
In our choices at the polls, we need to think of balance, of course. Of what’s best in the overall picture. But don’t underplay the critical need to restore fiscal stability. Experience would indicate four more years of continued red ink spending unless the makeup of Congress is changed drastically. Can our country stand this?
On the presidential side, Jimmy Carter is committed to substantial new spending programs but says he’ll delay them if they would prevent a balanced budget in four years.
President Ford is committed to slimming the bureaucracy and balancing the budget in two years. This is the minimum Americans should demand.
We believe President Ford has demonstrated he can provide prudent, stable leadership. By his vetoes, preventing expenditure of billions of dollars, he has proved he has the courage and stature to demand fiscal restraint and discipline. For this and other reasons, the Herald urges support for him in Tuesdays election.
We also urge choice of senate and congressional candidates who will team with him not only in restoring desperately needed fiscal stability but to preserve an effective two-party system and strengthen the “checks and balances” so vitally needed in government.