This Congress has proposed five spending-increase bills for every spending-cut bill, according to a new study by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, which argues that at a time of big deficits and debt, lawmakers should be looking for ways to trim.
NTUF said if all of the new spending programs this Congress has proposed since it was sworn in on Jan. 3 are added up, the total is $1.74 trillion. By contrast, lawmakers have proposed just $453 billion in spending cuts.
Breaking down the numbers, NTUF said lawmakers have written 554 bills to increase spending, compared to just 114 bills to cut spending.
Of course, few of those bills will ever become law. Indeed, over the last two years, Congress has actually cut overall federal spending — the first time that’s happened since the 1950s.
But the bill introductions suggest lawmakers remain interested in using taxpayers’ money to bolster their priorities.
Demian Brady, director of research for the foundation, said that should be a warning to the House and Senate negotiators who formally began the process this week of writing a federal budget for 2014.
“The data indicates that if Congress does not take a sharp turn toward budgetary savings early in the process, lawmakers are likely to maintain their current spending course,” Mr. Brady said.