Three thoughts on the budget fight(s) this year for those interested in economic growth and job creation.
First, one must focus correctly on reducing total government spending as a percentage of the economy as the key metric. There are only two ways to make the government smaller as a percentage of the overall economy: Spend less and increase economic growth. This is a great advantage for Republicans. They are willing to reduce government spending. Democrats are not. They benefit from the fact that average taxpayers earn $60,000 a year in pay, pension and health benefits while state and local government workers average $80,000 a year and federal "workers" are paid $120,000 a year. When the government spends less, there are fewer democrat precinct workers.
As for increasing economic growth, Republicans have boatloads of policies: cut marginal tax rates -- for starters take the American corporate income tax rate from today's 35% to the European average of 25%. Reduce the individual income tax rate to 25%. Abolish the death tax which double and triple taxes income earned and taxed already. Reform tort law to stop billionaire trial lawyers from recycling their "earnings" into the DNC coffers. Reduce the more than trillion dollar a year drag on the economy that is government overregulation.
Democrats have no ideas that will increase your 401(k) or the general economy. They tried Keynesianism. Again. They took $800 billion dollars through taxes and/or debt from those who earned it and gave it to the politically connected. They killed two million jobs and swelled the national debt.
Avoid being distracted by "the deficit." That is the ploy of Democrats that wish to take your eye off government spending so that they can offer tax hikes as the moral equivalent of spending cuts. Nice try. That way leads to Greece.
Second, one must have bi-focal vision for moving forward. Key your eyes on the goal: dramatically lowering government spending and higher growth over time. The Ryan legislation will drop six trillion dollars from what Obama wishes to spend. It drops government spending as a percentage of the economy from Obama's 25% to 20% in five years and to 15% by 2050. The near vision part of bi-focals allow one to cut four billion over two weeks and six billion over three weeks and then 40 billion for half a year and realize that making small cuts today is moving forward in the right direction. It is not important to change everything today or tomorrow. Much can be done overtime -- if we keep moving however slowly in the right direction.
Third, Remember 1982 and 1990, the two "deals" that Democrats offered Reagan and then Bush promising to cut three and later two dollars of spending for every dollar of tax hikes enacted. The tax hikes were real. The spending restraint never happened. When your negotiating partner wants to move in the opposite direction from your goal then you will either be in stalemate...or you will be cheated.
Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform. His Twitter handle is Twitter.com/GroverNorquist