Congressman Mark Sanford
May 27, 2017 View Online
Weekly Review
May 23:

President's 2018 Budget Proposal Released: 
Earlier today, Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC) released the following statement after the release of the president’s fiscal 2018 budget request, A New Foundation for American Greatness:

“I commend the president for looking to balance the budget and put the debt on a sustainable downward path. This is in contrast to the last administration and is to be applauded. Indeed, this proposal would reduce the federal government’s footprint by cutting duplicative government programs, reducing improper payments, and focusing funding on the traditional roles of government.

“That’s the good news. The bad, is that while on its face, the president’s budget request is balanced, the budget only accomplishes this through a combination of very strong economic forecasting and unrealistic future cuts in domestic discretionary spending. Meanwhile, the proposal doesn’t touch 40% of the annual budget - Social Security or Medicare, even though both are on a path toward insolvency.

“The proposed three percent economic growth assumes a Goldilocks scenario regarding several major economic indicators, such as a sustained unemployment rate of 4.8% - when the last 10 years have averaged at 7%. It assumes another 10 years of continuous economic expansion, which would be unprecedented because we are already in our country’s third-longest period of economic expansion. And it ignores significant demographic and financial headwinds, such as the continuing retirement of the baby boomer generation and slowed private investment due to an increased public sphere in the economy.

“Assuming strong economic growth may telepath an optimistic vision of our future, but by doing so, it ignores the tough policy choices that are necessary to truly address our country’s debt. It seems to me that finding a sustainable path forward requires more realistic policy assumptions on growth so that we avoid mounting deficits in the years to come.”

Rep. Sanford at Budget Committee hearing

May 24:

Port of Charleston Harbor Funding Secured: 
Today, Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC) released the following statement after the Port of Charleston Harbor Deepening project was declared as a New Start for 2017:

“I am pleased that the United States Army Corps of Engineers designated the Port of Charleston Harbor Deepening project as a New Start for their Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan. This is an important step forward for the Port of Charleston and South Carolina as a whole. I look forward to working with my colleagues on Capitol Hill and the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that this critical project remains on schedule.”

May 25: 

Part of being conservative means using numbers that are real: I’d ask you to take a look at the video in the CNN Money link below. It’s important in that it’s tied to what I believe would be a $2 trillion deficit hole, if we build a budget based on numbers that aren’t real.

Part of being conservative means using numbers that are real. It means conservative or realistic forecasts of what might come down the road as opposed to the rosy scenarios oftentimes laid out by government officials...that then don’t turn out, and as a consequence, each of us as taxpayers are left holding the bag.

In testimony, during yesterday's Budget Committee hearing, I applauded the OMB Director for the fact that the president’s budget actually proposed balance - as you may remember, the former administration proposed budgets that never balanced. I also applauded the fact that they proposed real cuts. The Appalachian Regional Commission has done much good for many people but was created at the height of our nation’s depression and in many ways has outlived its original purpose. I could give other examples, but all too few in Washington propose real cuts. This budget did.

My problem, though, is that it also proposes that the economy will grow by 3% over the next 10 years. I will make it a point over the days ahead to send a number of reasons as to why that can’t be. I would love for 3, 5, or even 10% growth to occur...but wishing it so doesn’t make it so. We have to base our numbers on the real things now occurring in the economy, and one of the big drivers of what’s happening with our growth is tied to the 10 thousand people a day retiring in our country. 


Click above to watch video

May 26:

How about another bite at the apple on financial realism? 
Here’s another reason as to why the 3% economic growth that the OMB Director defined as foundational to the president’s budget does not make sense.

Three percent growth in the economy would require productivity growth more than double current projections and at a level never sustained over any decade in modern history.

The closest our country has come to this level of productivity growth came between 1958 and 1967 in the final wave of electrification, consumer appliance and with the completion of the highway transportation system.

Would you bet the farm on this happening again over the next 10 years? Particularly given that if you’re wrong, we add more than $2 trillion to the national debt?

In fact, if our productivity growth rate rose the level of the 1990's, we would achieve only one-quarter of what would be necessary to achieve 3% economic growth. This is particularly a problem when the Rand Corp estimates that productivity growth will decrease by 15% over the years ahead based on our country’s aging. On this one, I’ve got to go with the Rand Corp because as much as I’d like to work until I’m 90, physical realities begin to set in that would drive me toward less work.


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