Thursday, January 27, 2005

10 Budget Recommendations

Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation is one of my favorite analysts on the Federal bugdget process. This piece (What's wrong with the budget process) is a tour de force analysis. Mr. Riedl hits it on the nail.


The current federal budget process is failing to meet its most basic obligations. The process is supposed to provide an orderly roadmap
for determining the nation’s annual spending and revenue priorities, but instead it stifles debate, prevents cooperation, and frequently breaks down. Created in 1974, the current process has been subject to 30 years of abuse and loopholes from lawmakers hoping to exploit its structural flaws. The budget process finally collapsed during the fiscal year (FY) 2003 and 2004 budget debates, during which:

  • The annual budgets were not completed until four months into the fiscal year that they were designed to fund;

  • The House of Representatives, Senate, and White House could not even agree on a basic budgetary framework for fiscal year 2005;

  • President George W. Bush neared completion of his 2004 budget submission—and most agencies laid the groundwork for their 2005 budget requests—without knowing their 2003 budget levels; and

  • Discretionary spending caps that were created to limit spending were allowed to expire without any replacement.


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