With the Republican presidential primaries coming soon, the race for the Republican nomination is heating up. There is one particular question that should be asked to all of the candidates. A lot of libertarians want to know the answer. Democrats should be asking the question to show the hypocrisy of most of the Republican candidates.
It is unlikely that this question will be asked in any of the debates. If it is asked, most of the candidates will not answer the question. Their hands should be forced to answer the question or else look really bad. The question is this:
What specifically would you cut from the federal budget to balance the budget for the first budget year that you would be responsible for as president?
I do not recall hearing any of the candidates saying that they would not balance the budget. This question would force them to admit this. It is true that Congress is responsible for spending, but that is 535 people. The president is one person who can veto spending bills. The Congress needs a supermajority to override a presidential veto. In addition, the president can influence the American people, and thus Congress, when it comes to spending cuts.
Here is the problem for the Republican presidential candidates. They say they want a balanced budget. They say they will not raise taxes. Yet, it would be impossible to balance the budget unless you significantly cut military spending or cut Medicare and Social Security. Cutting military spending would mean ending wars and bringing troops home. Cutting Medicare and Social Security would mean severely cutting benefits for those already collecting.
Of course, there are a lot of departments that can and should be cut from the federal budget. But even if all of the unconstitutional departments and programs were cut, it would still fall short. But the candidates are not proposing this anyway, except for one person.
Ron Paul (and Gary Johnson to a much lesser extent) is the only candidate who is serious about making deep and significant cuts. Ron Paul has said that he would end the wars currently going on. They would end almost immediately on his watch. He would like to get rid of all of the unconstitutional departments. He would like to end foreign aid.
Ron Paul is the only candidate who has been specific enough to come anywhere close to a balanced budget. In fact, Ron Paul should be asking this question to the other candidates. It would show that the other candidates are closer to Obama than they want to admit. They have no plan for a balanced budget.
Balancing the budget it just one of the major issues of this campaign. But most people know where the candidates stand on the other issues. It is obvious that Ron Paul ( and again, Gary Johnson to a much lesser extent) is the only anti-war candidate in the race. But when it comes to spending, the Republicans are trying to have their cake and eat it too. There is simply no way to balance the budget without big cuts in military spending or entitlement spending.