Mark Sanford…slaying an already tamed deficit

Congratulations to Mark Sanford for his victory Tuesday in South Carolina’s First Congressional District.

Sanford’s campaign message was pretty simple.  Elect him and he would totally focus on reigning in federal spending in order to cut the budget deficit.

Well, in a strange ironic coincidence The Washington Post ran a story on the same day Sanford was elected with this lead, “After four years of trillion-dollar deficits, the red ink is receding rapidly in Washington.”

Federal spending is down and revenue is up.

According to The Washington Post story, “Defense spending has been declining rapidly with the end of the war in Iraq and the ongoing drawdown of forces in Afghanistan. A surprising — and apparently durable — slowdown in health-care costs has sharply reduced projected spending on Medicare and Medicaid. And the falling jobless rate and improving economy have helped push federal tax collections up 16 percent over last year, according to figures out Tuesday.”

Throw in sequester cuts, Social Security tax cuts going away and households with more than $450,000 income paying just a little more in taxes and you get the reduced red ink.  In fact the federal government is expected to actually make a small payment to reduce the national debt in June.

Now none of this will stop Mr. Sanford from pushing for the type of failed austerity measures that have crippled the European economies.  But this good budget news should make those in Washington pay less attention to his deficit-hawk voice in Congress.   And that is a good thing for a country that needs to invest in infrastructure, education, healthcare and other areas to rebuild a stronger economy that will create more tax revenue to get us closer to a balanced budget.

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