ATLANTA, GA, July 1, 2020 — Allen Buckley, a fiscal conservative independent candidate in the special election race for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kelly Loeffler, says the national debt is the nation’s greatest problem, and Congressman Doug Collins is deceiving the public with respect to his voting record regarding the debt.
The debt recently surpassed $26 trillion. It is a major problem because in 2007, when total debt was less than $9 trillion, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said: “GAO’s current long-term simulations continue to show ever larger deficits resulting in a federal debt burden that ultimately spirals out of control.” Annual revenue has never exceeded $3.5 trillion, and the budget has not been balanced since the turn of the century. In 2011, when total federal debt was approximately $15 trillion, Admiral Mike Mullen, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the national debt the nation’s greatest national security threat. On his campaign website, Buckley explains the impacts of the national debt.
The Conservative Review gives Mr. Collins an F 50% score. It notes numerous things Mr. Collins has voted for that are not conservative in nature. Many of them increased the debt.
Mr. Collins’s U.S. Senate website includes the following heading: “Cutting Taxes and Spending.” Under it, the following sentence exists: “I worked hand-in-hand with President Trump and my Republican colleagues to pass historic tax reform, and we’re continuing to see the results.” Those results include a $984 billion deficit for 2019. Collins’s U.S. House website says: “Currently, the federal government is spending far more that it takes in, and the result is a national debt of more than $20 trillion. In order to strengthen our economy and encourage job growth, we must rein in government spending, reforms entitlement programs, reduce costly red tape, and cut out waste and fraud in government programs.”
Mr. Collins’s voting record shows a consistent pattern of voting for tax cuts and spending increases. He has voted for spending increases particularly when his party is in control of Congress. Tax cuts legislation that he supported includes the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, the State and Local Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2015, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Family Savings Act of 2018. He also has regularly voted for “tax extenders” bills that extend or make permanent tax benefits, including the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. None of these tax bills has been even partially paid for by spending reduction.
Regarding spending, Mr. Collins voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018) and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. Both bills suspended the debt limit. In conjunction with voting for the BBA 2018, Collins also voted for the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. It was enacted, and it resulted in large increases to both defense and nondefense spending, in accordance with BBA 2018. On February 20, 2019, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said of BBA 2018: “The 2018 budget deal enacted a massive increase in discretionary spending. The deal grew spending by 16 percent from 2017 to 2019, blew through the bipartisan caps set in 2011, and added $420 billion to the debt — mostly over two years. Today’s spending levels are high by historical standards. In inflation-adjusted dollars, base discretionary spending in 2019 is higher than any other time in history besides 2010. . . . The law prior to the BBA 2018 had limited defense discretionary spending in FY 2019 to $562 billion and non-defense discretionary to $530 billion. The BBA 2018 increased these spending levels by $85 billion and $67 billion, respectively, for a total of $153 billion (0.7 percent of GDP).”
The only bill that Mr. Collins sponsored for reduction of spending, The Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, actually did nothing or virtually nothing to actually reduce spending. Rather, almost all of its provisions call for unobligated balances set aside for particular purposes no longer needed to be recalled (i.e. rescinded). The total to be recalled, etc. was $15 billion, a relatively small figure when total federal spending for the year of the bill (2018) was in the $4.1 trillion range. For example, according to GovTrack.us, $5.1 of the total of approximately $15 billion covered by the bill “simply rescind[ed] funds that are either no longer necessary or can’t be spent because the authority to do so expired last year. Rescinding these funds will have no impact on the program.”
The Religious Liberty section of Mr. Collins’s U.S. House website says he is a pastor and the chaplain.
Buckley said: “The national debt is our nation’s greatest long-term problem. Doug Collins is a reason why the debt has become huge. Voting for tax cuts is good only when they simplify the tax system and are coupled by equal or greater spending cuts. Mr. Collins masquerades as a fiscal conservative, when in fact his voting record is that of a tax-cutting, spending increase supporter. Query if deceiving the public about one’s voting record is part of teaching The Word? The time has come that people like him should not be part of Congress.”
Mr. Buckley’s “Save Tomorrow” campaign is about living for today and tomorrow, instead of living for today to the detriment of tomorrow. The focus is on doing things to make tomorrow as good as or even better than today, by acting now to address the nation’s financial challenges and confronting global warming in a practical way. Mr. Buckley is an attorney/CPA. He can be reached for comment at (404) 610-1936. Mr. Buckley’s campaign website is www.buckleyforsenate.org.