Senators: Time to end government 'budget gimmicks'

By Olga Belogolova

October 21, 2011

The government has been hiding behind "budget gimmicks" for far too long, say Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, ranking Republican on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

The two senators, touting their joint efforts in introducing the Honest Budget Act earlier this month, say in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the measure would make it more difficult for the government to spend money that it does not have, and would weed out "the larger culture of fiscal corruption" in Washington.

"For two years in a row, the Democratic-led Senate has failed to adopt a budget as required by law. Meanwhile, our gross national debt has climbed to almost $15 trillion -- as large as our entire economy," they wrote.

Snowe and Sessions hope to target several "budget tricks" in particular by weeding out routine expenditures that they say are masked as emergency spending and "phony" rescissions implemented by Congress; ensuring federal pay freezes are mandated; and stopping Congress from shifting expenditures or tax due dates from one period to another in order to justify certain legislation.

"We must rein in the explosive growth of the federal government," the two senators wrote. "No more gimmicks, tricks, or shell games."


By Olga Belogolova

October 21, 2011

http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2011/10/senators-time-to-end-government-budget-gimmicks/35214/