Eugene Steuerle: Congress is supposed to decide how the U.S. spends money. Soon, it won’t be able to.

Dr. Eugene (Gene) Steuerle is an Institute fellow and the Richard B. Fisher chair at the Urban Institute and a member of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He recently wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post, an excerpt of which is below:

Democratic candidates for president are promising Medicare-for-all, free college and an ambitious — and expensive — Green New Deal. President Trump wants more tax cuts, a bigger military and an elaborate wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

 But all those proposals will run into the same problem in transforming from campaign promises to enacted programs: The additional revenue needed to cover their costs pales by comparison to the additional revenue needed to pay for the future spending already mandated by law. And there’s no way Congress or the White House can take off this fiscal straitjacket and meet either the old or the new shortfall simply by taxing “the rich” or skimping on welfare payments to the poor — the usual ploy of offering much for the many by taking a little from the few.

Read the entire piece here.

"My Views" are works published by members or staff of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members or staff of the Committee.