We should start moving toward fiscal responsibility by capping federal spending at 18% of our gross domestic product, banning earmarks and future bailouts, and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. My plan freezes federal civilian hiring and salaries until the budget is balanced.
Those two sentences are the entirety of the discussion of the spending side. Back in 2007 when there was no recession, no bailouts, and no Barack Obama, federal spending was 20 percent of GDP. Rick Perry’s plan is to implement a 10 percent reduction in spending, even though the share of elderly people in the population is rising, without so much as gesturing at which programs will be curtailed as a result. But will we reduce elderly Americans’ Social Security benefits? Will we stop paying for their medical care? Perhaps instead, we’ll radically revise America’s foreign policy commitments. There are things you could do. But these would be big changes with huge consequences for people’s lives. Perry owes us some account of what sort of changes he has in mind and what he thinks the result would be.