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8 Ways Heritage Foundation’s 2022 Budget Plan Strengthens Financial Health, Economic Vitality and National Security

On February 22, the Heritage Foundation unveiled its budget plan for 2022, and with more than 200 specific policy proposals accompanied by analyzes from heritage experts, it contains a wealth of information for policymakers and the public.

The Budget Blueprint is more than just numbers. It addresses America’s most pressing issues and provides ways to strengthen the country’s financial health, security, and economic vitality, and even preserves the fundamental principles that have made it the greatest nation on Earth.

Here’s what its implementation would mean in eight key areas:

1) Control dangerous debts

The total federal debt is staggering $30.1 trillionthat’s about $233,000 for every household in the country.

Although there is disagreement between left and right on how to handle this, it is widely accepted that unless something changes we are on track to add over $1 trillion of debt each year for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately, it’s not too late to keep America out of debt. By ending Washington’s habit of runaway spending, the Budget Plan breaks even within a decade and would begin the process of reducing debt relative to the size of the economy.

This would benefit Americans today while being much fairer to future generations.

2) Fight inflation

Americans are right to worry inflation. Households and businesses are paying more and more for essentials, which means our paychecks are worth less and less.

Liberal leaders seem to think the solution to inflation is throw more money around. Yet this attitude is one of the main drivers of current inflationary pressures.

Congress has added nearly $7 trillion in deficit spending in the past two years alone with the federal government’s historically reckless policy spending spree.

While some of this was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, far too much was wasted on handouts for narrow special interestseconomically destructive wellness extensionsand the stimulus initiatives that have helped stoke today’s inflationary fires.

Of the many policy reforms that can reduce costs and inflation, the most fundamental change would be to start reducing the deficit, which is what the draft budget is designed to do.

This would reduce the torrent of excess liquidity flowing out of Washington, strengthen credit markets and give Federal Reserve more room to adjust monetary policy.

3) More tax reform for a stronger economy

While the pre-pandemic economy was in great shape, it could have been even better. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017 contained a significant amount of reforms that made the tax code fairer and more growth-friendly.

Heritage’s Budget Master Plan calls for making permanent key provisions of the tax law.

Despite the success of the law, there is still room for another round of tax reforms. That’s why the plan also tackles many hidden subsidies in the tax code and uses the savings for additional investment-friendly tax cuts to help American competitiveness and productivity.

4) Make Social Security and Medicare sustainable

Social Security and Medicare finances have been a concern for decades, but Congress has reliably ignored the problem or made it worse.

We have now reached the point where kicking the box is no longer an option.

Unless something happens, Social Security will go bankrupt in 2033, which would affect most current retirees and nearly everyone nearing retirement.

Medicare is in even worse shape, with the trust fund set to go bankrupt in 2026.

Congressional neglect has turned these programs into a ticking time bomb that will be hard to defuse. However, “difficult” does not mean impossible. The budget plan would put Social Security and Medicare on the path to solvency.

For Social Security, that means turning it into a program that prevents old-age poverty, which is why it was created in the first place. The plan would also provide more choice and ownership for future generations.

For Medicare, the plan would reduce subsidies for wealthy beneficiaries and shift it to a more market-based system that would improve competition, patient choice and better cost control.

The longer we wait to address these programs, the harder it will be to find solutions that are fair for retirees and affordable for future generations.

5) National Defense: focus on priorities

The federal government is responsible for protecting the nation on the world stage. This requires unparalleled military strength, especially when the world faces enormous uncertainty in Europe and the challenges of nations like China. Yet we would struggle to see this as the case by looking federal spending trends.

Heritage’s budget plan provides guidance for improving the Army, Navy and Air Force, in part by reinvesting savings from reforms into the defense portfolio.

We can make the military leaner and meaner at the same time, providing more security to the nation and more stability to the world.

6) Welfare reform: good for families, the economy

One of the foundations of a healthy family is having at least one parent with a rewarding full-time job, which promotes upward mobility and provides children with a direct role model.

Welfare programs can either discourage or encourage work, and the difference is huge.

The amount of total social benefits also matters when it comes to work. Excessive social benefits during the pandemic have contributed to a historic number of job vacancies.

As a result, proposed plans to tighten work requirements for welfare programs, eliminate marriage penalties and reform unemployment insurance would serve to encourage work. More people with jobs would mean healthier families and a stronger economy.

7) Defund Washington bureaucrats

The federal government has taken control of more and more things over the last century. In some cases it is straightforward, while in other cases it uses grants and subsidies to co-opt local, private decision-making.

The end result is the same: power is increasingly concentrated in Washington, and important decisions are too often made by distant, irresponsible and overpaid bureaucrats.

The budget plan would cut or eliminate dozens of programs and agencies that provide negligible (or worse) benefits to the public. Examples include closing the Department of Education, revamping the Highway Trust Fund and returning low-income housing to the states.

Washington has proven dysfunctional and incompetent for too long, no matter which party is in power. It is high time to take back power.

8) Reduce waste

It’s no surprise that a federal government operating countless programs spread across dozens of agencies and offices is burdened with wasteful and wasteful spending.

The budget plan would cut foreign development aid, end the practice of paying federal employees to work for unions, eliminate slush funds that pay for local pork projects, end ridiculously large subsidies costs for rum produced in US territories and stop sending money to the woefully failed transit system in Washington.

If members of Congress expect American taxpayers to hand over billions of hard-earned dollars every year, the least they can do is stop the equivalent of throw money down a hole.

A great deal of work will be required to implement the proposals contained in Heritage’s Budget Master Plan. Many politicians and interest groups will fight tooth and nail to protect companion animal programs and subsidies and to maintain federal dominance over most of our lives.

Nonetheless, we must remember that protecting and preserving our core values ​​and ensuring the financial health of the nation is worth fighting for.

This piece originally appeared in The daily signal