As many Federal departments and agencies lurch into an era of
running without funds, the leaders of both parties of Congress are
spending less and less time searching for a compromise to balance the
budget, and more and more time deciding how to use it to their
advantage on the campaign trail. Meanwhile money is easily borrowed to
pay for government overhead. In an attempt to change this, on June 29,

Congress voted in favor of HConRes67 that called for a 7 year plan to
balance the Federal Budget by the year 2002 (Hager 1899). This would
be done by incorporating $894 billion in spending cuts by 2002, with a
projected 7 year tax cut of $245 billion. If this plan were
implemented, in the year 2002, the U.S. Government would have the
first balanced budget since 1969.

There is doubt by citizens that a balanced budget will become
reality. A recent Gallop Poll from January, 1996 showed the budget as
the #1 concern among taxpayers, but 4/5 of those interviewed said they
doubt the GOP will do the job (Holding 14). Meanwhile, an ABC poll
from November reported that over 70% of those polled disapprove of the
current performance by Congress, and most blamed politicians for
failure to take action (Cloud 3709). These accusations of failure to
follow through come with historical proof that Congress and Clinton
have failed to compromise and resolve the issue. After all, current
budget plans are dependent on somewhat unrealistic predictions of
avoiding such catastrophes as recession, national disasters, etc., and
include minor loopholes. History has shown that every budget agreement
that has failed was too lax. One might remember the

Gramm-Rudman-Hollings bill that attempted to balance the budget, but
left too many exemptions, and was finally abandoned in 1990
(Weinberger 33).

So after a pain-staking trial for GOP Republicans to create,
promote, and pass their budget, as promised on campaign trail 94,

Clinton rejected the very bill he demanded. This essentially brought
the federal budget back to square one. Clinton thought such a demand
on Republicans to produce a budget would produce inner-party quarrels
and cause the GOP to implode. Instead, they produced a fiscal budget
that passed both houses of Congress, only to be stalemated by a
stubborn Democratic President Clinton. Meanwhile, Clinton bounced back
with a CBO scored plan with lighter, less risky cuts to politically
sensitive areas like entitlements. Clinton’s plan also saved dollars
for education and did not include a tax increase, but most cuts would
not take effect until he is out of office, in the year 2001. Although

Clinton is sometimes criticized for producing a stalemate in budget
talks, the White House points out that the debt has gone down since

Clinton took office, with unemployment also falling. Republicans are
quick to state that Clinton originally increased taxes in 1993 and cut
defense programs, but his overall plan was for an increasing budget
without deficit reduction.

Startling Facts about the budget:

As of 1996, the national debt was at an all time high of $5
trillion dollars, with interest running at a whopping $250 billion per
year (Rau M-1). This equals out to an individual responsibility of
more than $50,000 per taxpayer. Nearly 90% of that debt has
accumulated since 1970, and between 1980 and 1995, the debt grew by

500%. Currently, the debt grows by more than $10,000 per second (Rau

M-l), and at current rates, a baby born in 1992 will pay 71% of his or
her income in net taxes. At current rates, our government is about to
reach its breaking point. If that’s not enough to scare a taxpayer, by

2002, 60% of government spending will be for entitlements, and by

2012, these programs are projected to take up all government revenue
(Dentzer 32). Not only economic development, but also family income is
hurt by debt. With the cost of living going up, it becomes harder to
find a job. According to the Concord Coalition, real wages peaked in

1973 and have gone down ever since. If the economy grew as fast as it
did in 1950, without a debt, the median family income would be
$50,000, compared to the present median of $35,000 (Rau M-1).

As of current fiscal year’s budget, the United States government
spends $1.64 trillion yearly. $500 billion of that, or 1/3 of the
total, is for discretionary spending (Rau M-1). This discretionary
spending is the target for most cuts, and seems to be the easiest to
make cuts in. Overall, the difference between the two parties budget
plans is only $400 billion. This could easily be trimmed by
eliminating tax cuts and adjusting