CONGRESSIONAL SPENDING BINGE Worried that George W. Bush and Al Gore will spend the projected budget surplus on new billion dollar spending programs or tax cuts? Donít be.
Republicans and Democrats Seek Huge Government Spending Increase
Taxpayers for Common Sense is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare. Here is their latest news update.
Congress is seeing to it that theyíll never have the chance. Congress is currently considering the biggest increases in spending since the Republicans took control, adding billions more to the budget for new water projects, bridges, roads, and other pork barrel projects.
While Bush and Gore are debating what to do with the surplus, Congressional Democrats and Republicans alike are frantically spending it.
Special tax breaks and new spending programs being considered would exceed, by at least $60 billion, the $600 billion spending limit that had been set for this year, according to the Senate Budget Committee.
Even if the leadership halves that number, as it seeks to do, that will still represent a 6.1 percent increase in general government spending (not entitlements). This would be, by far, the single largest spending increase since the Republicans wrested control of Congress.
This $30 billion in extra spending could ultimately result in a $300 billion reduction in surpluses over the next decade, according to the Budget Committee, one of the few government bodies apparently capable of arithmetic.
Even with projected budget surpluses, the national debt will still increase by $753 billion to $6.4 trillion by 2010, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
To the credit of Congressional Republican leaders, they have proposed setting aside 90% of next yearís $268 billion projected surplus to help pay down the debt. That would leave only $27 billion for any new tax cuts or spending programs, very inconsistent with their plan's promises.
Current spending bills are already on track to exceed that number. House and Senate negotiators last week added billions to the Administrationís request for transportation spending.
Aided by the Clinton administration, Republicans and Democrats in Congress continue to ignore the caps that legislators set for government spending in the 1997 Balanced Budget Act.
But even with the caps, surpluses arenít guaranteed. Congress continues its spending spree despite the fact that tax revenues (and projected budget surpluses) are subject to shifts in the economy.
The Concord Coalition has proposed that Congress consider spending caps that rise only with inflation for FY 2001 and FY 2002. Congress should seriously consider this proposal.
Billion-dollar election year promises by Congress and the Presidential candidates may win votes, but come at the expense of the nationís future fiscal health.
For more information, contact Keith Ashdown at (202) 546-8500 x110 or
e-mail email@example.com ; TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
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