LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Still opportunities to cut spending

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Though the federal government is facing a massive shortfall over the coming decades (“$30 trillion in red ink,” Comment & Analysis, June 10), there were real savings proposed in the past Congress that could offer solutions to both our short- and long-term fiscal problems.

According to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, lawmakers in the 112th Congress sponsored 198 unique bills to cut spending by $1.2 trillion each year. Most of the measures ultimately were not passed, leaving taxpayers with a $669 billion federal deficit in fiscal year 2013. The foundation’s Bill Tally project scores every piece of legislation introduced in Congress. A number of these bills would institute across-the-board spending limits as seen, for example, in earlier versions of the Budget Control Act.

Other measures would make additional targeted cuts. Some of the more ambitious efforts included repealing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, block-granting Medicaid and reforming benefits eligibility to reflect America’s changing demographics. All of these efforts would have begun the process of real entitlement and budget reform, but elected officials did not act.

That’s not the end of the story, however. Many of the savings bills from the previous Congress can be reintroduced, cutting spending rather than relying on budget gimmicks or tax increases. These measures would bend downward the cost curves of the federal government, giving officials more flexibility to enact honest structural improvements to the nation’s retirement and health care programs. The key to opening the door for entitlement reform tomorrow may be one that unlocks other budget savings today.


Research and outreach manager

National Taxpayers Union Foundation


© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts