Weekly Columns

Congress Needs to Enact Reforms That Will Ensure Long-Term Economic Success

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Washington, February 8, 2012 | comments

The slight drop in unemployment in the recent job report was welcome news that shows a positive gain in our economy.  However, the economy is still in a fragile state, so Congress must continue to move forward with reforms that put this country on a path to ensure long-term economic success.

That is why the House passed HR 3581, the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act, a bill that would increase transparency in federal budgeting by providing a more honest accounting of how certain costs are calculated and a clearer picture of the government’s total budget. Preliminary non-partisan estimates show that current accounting understates the cost by some $55 billion a year, because it does not account for market risk.  The bill fixes this shortcoming by requiring market risk to be explicitly included, which brings federal budgeting in line with what’s long been standard practice in the private sector for valuing similar financial commitments.

Additionally, H.R. 3581 would bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on budget to recognize the budgetary impact of these housing-related government-sponsored enterprises. Since the financial crisis these enterprises have become the explicit financial responsibility of the federal government and these reforms would ensure that the budgetary implications of that fact are reflected in the federal budget.

Next week, President Obama is expected to introduce his budget plan for fiscal year 2013, which starts Oct. 1.  It is expected to mirror the budget he proposed last September. However, the president’s budget failed to actually address the fiscal problems facing this nation, including entitlement reform. The president’s budget proposal does not offer solutions to address these unsustainable spending, deficit and debt levels. In fact, the president’s budget was so bad that the Senate rejected it by a vote of 97-0.  Until we see real leadership in addressing our debt crisis, we won’t reach any agreement because he is the one who will approve any bill passed by the House and the Senate.

To lower the deficit, instead of cutting duplicative, wasteful and bloated government programs, the president plans to end tax cuts for hardworking Americans.  This is further evidence that the president is handing the bill over to the American people rather than fixing what is broken in the federal government.  Washington doesn’t have a taxing problem, it has a spending problem, and we must reform the way business is done in Washington.

Congress needs to pass reforms that are focused on creating jobs and strengthening our economy.  A viable solution for the future of America would be to pass a budget that rewards hardworking taxpayers and provides economic certainty so our small business can thrive.


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