RSS
TwitterFacebookGoogle+YouTubeLinkedIn

February 2012: Government Affairs

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Government Affairs

The Truth in Budgeting

Winston Churchill once said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.” Here’s the incontrovertible truth about budget deficits: Spending is still out of control.

The national debt is now more than $15 trillion. The budget deficit for this fiscal year alone will be more than $1 trillion. This mountain of debt is a growing obstacle to economic recovery. But for many in Washington, it’s business as usual.

The same budget gimmicks are being used to frustrate attempts to rein in spending. We cannot restore financial responsibility to Washington until we put an end to dishonest budgeting. That’s why I have joined 20 senators in co-sponsoring the Honest Budget Act, to outlaw nine accounting tricks commonly used to hide unnecessary spending.

Here are a few examples:

  • Follow a budget. Parents – who can afford to – use allowances to teach their children life lessons, like the importance of budgeting for essentials. Congress, however, hasn’t approved an annual budget in nearly three years. Is it any wonder that we’ve had the three largest annual budget deficits in history?
  • Take down the Christmas tree. This isn’t to spoil the holiday season; it’s to halt adding tens of billions of dollars in pet projects to emergency spending bills. Congress sometimes needs to make special appropriations to cover unanticipated costs – military operations or natural disaster aid. This should be limited to true emergencies only.
  • Outlaw budgetary shell games. One budget game played most often is shifting funds – from one year to another, from one account to another – to frustrate accurate counting. What it adds up to is more deficit spending.
  • A $15 trillion national debt is scary, but taxpayers also are on the hook for hundreds of billions in high-risk loans and federal guarantees, like the open-ended bailout for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Loan guarantees can be useful ways to stretch private-sector investment dollars for the public good. But transparency and proper reserves are imperative. A loan with no realistic possibility of full repayment isn’t an asset; it’s a liability. Accountability and honest accounting matter.

In total, the budgetary gimmicks covered by our bill have added $350 billion to the nation’s debt since 2005. We – and our children – most likely will be paying interest on this for decades. Our nine reforms would require accurate accounting. They could put an end to the budgetary game-playing and prevent hundreds of billions of dollars of unnecessary and unauthorized spending.

Washington remains divided over starkly different visions of the proper role of government and the best approach for re-energizing our economy. This continuing debate may not be resolved until the national elections in 2012.

But our bill advances principles that Republicans, Democrats and independents can all agree on: accountability, honesty and transparency in spending taxpayers’ money.

These reforms are long overdue.


Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee.


Return to Table of Contents

Related Posts

  • 38
    For too long, Washington has stumbled from budget crisis to budget crisis. Government shutdowns, short-term spending bills and an ad-hoc oversight process have corrupted our nation’s ability to budget effectively.
    Tags: budget, congress, year, government, spending, budgeting, washington
  • 35
    Right now, the government spends more and more money on X, Y or Z program, and the standard operating procedure is to maintain the status quo.
    Tags: government, budget, spending, year, dollars, debt, budgeting
  • 34
    From this year’s $1.6 trillion deficit to Medicare’s $38 trillion projected shortfall, our fiscal outlook is clear: America is on a path to bankruptcy. This is no longer news and no longer debatable.
    Tags: budget, will, year, government, congress, $, trillion
  • 32
    What a year 2015 has been in Washington, D.C., and the world of politics! We have seen the resignation and retirement of the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives. We have seen the incredible rise of “outsider” candidates in the Republican Presidential primary field. We have seen foreign affairs…
    Tags: year, washington, will, congress, government, affairs

MASONRY MAGAZINE VIDEO NEWS

S26 HEPA Dust Extractor From Pullman Ermator

Ermator HEPA Dust Extractors are equipped with tested and certified HEPA filters that trap the smallest, most dangerous-to-breath dust particles and prevents them from being released in the air. A HEPA Dust Extractor not only exhausts perfectly clean air, it is far more efficient for the fast recovery of bulk dry dust, debris and other building materials found on every Construction, Abatement and Restoration job site.

Drilling and Chiseling Hammer Demonstration | CS Unitec

CS Unitec Drilling and Chiseling Hammer type 2 2414 0010 demonstration. For more information on the tools, drills and other products seen in this video, please visit: http://www.csunitec.com/hammer-drills/

PumpMaster | Masonry Grout Pump for Core Filling | Block Fill | Masonry Wall Grouting

The AIRPLACO PumpMaster PG-30 is shown on a jobsite in Nashville, TN with Masonry Contractor WASCO, Inc. ...