A Budget Blueprint for Freedom, Opportunity, and Prosperity

COMMENTARY Budget and Spending

A Budget Blueprint for Freedom, Opportunity, and Prosperity

Feb 23, 2022 3 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Matthew D. Dickerson

Director, Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget

Matthew is the director for the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget at The Heritage Foundation.
Will we accept more of the Washington-knows-best, top-down rule by politicians and bureaucrats? Or will we the people be in charge? Douglas Rissing / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

The current administration and the radical left demands more control over our lives. Thankfully, there’s a plan to change course.

The Budget Blueprint strengthens Social Security, ensuring the program fulfills its original purpose to prevent poverty in old age.

The Budget Blueprint would make the tax code fairer by finally eliminating dozens of harmful and wasteful tax subsidies.

America faces a stark choice.

Will we accept more of the Washington-knows-best, top-down rule by politicians and bureaucrats? Or will we the people be in charge?

The current administration and the radical left demands more control over our lives.

Thankfully, there’s a plan to change course and promote the common good by preserving the God-given rights of our people.

The Heritage Foundation’s Budget Blueprint includes more than 200 policy reforms to roll back excessive government spending, prioritize taxpayer dollars, reform major entitlement programs, restore federalism, promote opportunity for all, and protect rights and our American values. 

After more than 40 years, the federal Department of Education has provided little benefit and significant costs for students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers. To restore more local control and achieve better results, the Budget Blueprint recommends winding down the Department of Education.

Where the federal government does have a constitutional role in education, such as for families of the armed services and students in the District of Columbia, the Budget Blueprint would expand school choice so families have options for the best education for their children.

Providing for the nation’s security is one of Congress’ most important priorities, particularly in an era of great power competition and growing challenges from China. The Budget Blueprint provides specific investments for the Army, Navy, and Air Force, while refocusing resources to the highest-value uses.

The federal government’s two largest programs, Social Security and Medicare, are both insolvent. Worse, both of these programs are outdated and are a bad deal for seniors.

The Budget Blueprint strengthens Social Security, ensuring the program fulfills its original purpose to prevent poverty in old age. It would allow for higher incomes and more opportunity for all Americans by increasing benefits for low-income retirees and gradually reducing benefit levels for new high-income recipients.

Medicare would be modernized, providing premium support with more choices, more competition, and lower costs to achieve better outcomes for program beneficiaries.

Obamacare has proven to be a damaging failure, limiting access to care and driving up costs. The Budget Blueprint would finally phase out Obamacare. By rolling back the Obamacare expansion and putting Medicaid on a budget, the Budget Blueprint would end the blank-check financing that fuels higher spending and encourages cost-shifting at the state and local level.

An important component of reducing the harm of big government is reducing the damaging burden of taxes. The Budget Blueprint would reform the tax code with an emphasis on fairness and removing disincentives for economic growth.

First and foremost, it would prevent the damaging individual income-tax increases, scheduled for 2026, that would result from the expiration of the Trump tax cuts.

This tax plan would end disincentives to investment by making full expensing for capital investments permanent and for the first time extending neutral cost recovery to new investments in buildings.

The corporate tax rate would be further reduced so that take-home pay for workers can increase.

It would provide all Americans universal savings accounts, allowing savings to grow tax-free, giving families the flexibility to put away money for whatever future needs might arise.

The Budget Blueprint would make the tax code fairer by finally eliminating dozens of harmful and wasteful tax subsidies, such as the deduction for state and local taxes and corporate welfare.

A budget is a reflection of values. Therefore, it’s vital that the federal budget protect American values. The Budget Blueprint would roll back the taxpayer funding that’s currently being funneled to organizations that promote anti-American beliefs and institutions of the professional left, such as the education establishment, public sector unions, and Planned Parenthood.

It also would retain vital pro-life and conscience protections in federal law.

The Budget Blueprint would restore federalism and decentralization, allowing decision-making to occur at levels of civil society and local government closer to the people, reinvigorating the concepts of civic virtue, voluntary cooperation, mutual benefit, and respect for fellow citizens.

The Heritage Foundation’s Budget Blueprint is a comprehensive plan to respond to the threat of federal overspending, by putting the federal government on a path to financial and democratic health and to stability so that freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society can flourish.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal