The Wyoming senator is starting his fourth term in Congress. His seniority and ability have been rewarded with the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee. The Republicans took control of the Senate this month, a result of the Nov. 4 election, and Enzi was named chair of the influential panel after he quietly and effectively — his trademarks — turned back a potential challenge from Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
Enzi has long touted what he calls his “penny plan,” which would cut 1 percent from all federal spending for two years by the use of what he refers to as “targeted cuts.”
“It is my hope that our $18 trillion national debt will be a wakeup call for Congress and our nation,” Enzi said after he officially assumed the chairmanship. “If done properly, we can cut spending without inflicting massive cuts into every area government operates. It’s all about cutting the worst first. Let’s weed out duplicative programs and those that were supposed to end decades ago.”
He also calls for a reserve fund for emergencies, establishing specific deficit targets and streamlining the budget process to allow more time for program oversight to see how federal money is being used.
Enzi also wants to reduce taxes, including the inheritance tax, or as conservatives refer to it, “the death tax.” He said if taxes are cut, businesses and individuals will have more money to spend and invest.
“Americans, not the federal government, know best how to spend their hard-earned money,” Enzi said.
The senator said the government must move toward a balanced budget to reduce its debt and cut the massive amount of money paid out in net interest. It will top $250 billion a year in 2015, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
“That is money going straight out the window, and it’s controlled by the whim of those who lend us money,” he said, notably China.
We trust Enzi will do what he feels is right and best for the nation. Politics should not be a major factor; he just won re-election and is not preparing for a White House bid.
Without the need to position himself for a campaign, Enzi, who was an accountant before entering into politics full-time, can do a great service to the country by overseeing a budget proposal that will come to a vote in both houses of Congress. If passed, it will be presented to President Barack Obama, who will send his own 2016 fiscal year budget proposal to Congress on Feb. 2.
In addition, by getting this accomplished, Enzi can set an example for members of his party as well as Democrats: Compromise is possible. The business of government — working together to come up with a solution — can and must be done. It’s how Congress worked, or at least attempted to work, for two centuries.
The recent stalemate, with the Democrats and Republicans in pitched camps, unable and/or unwilling to listen to each other and work together, has frustrated Americans and driven congressional approval ratings to single digits. Enzi, a conservative who has shown an ability to work with liberals and moderates, knows how to get things done.
That would benefit the GOP, which has been seen as the “Party of No” in recent years, while also showing a way out of the partisan morass that has stifled our government.
A penny saved is a penny earned. Financial sanity starts as simply as that, and we believe Mike Enzi — a calm, practical, reasonable man with a plan — can lead the way. He plans to be personally involved in the process.
“I’m ready to dig into the numbers,” Enzi said. We look forward to that.