Senate Republicans Introduce Honest Budget Act

October 5, 2011

Today, Senate Republicans introduced the Honest Budget Act in an attempt to change the way that the Federal Government budgets and spends money.  Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the Honest Budget Act to make it harder for Washington to hide and justify spending to make the Federal Government operate the way that the citizens do.

Today, the Federal Government can pay for spending by claiming a savings on money they never intended to spend in the first place.  For example, included in the deficit reduction proposed by President Obama are the savings of not being in Iraq at last years troop levels 10 years from now.  Some of that money is then used for other spending or in phony savings.  You can think of this as assuming that you will continue to pay your mortgage even after you have paid it off and using that money to pay for things now.

According to the Senators, the Honest Budget Act:

  • Requires both houses of Congress to adopt a binding budget resolution or face a 60-vote threshold to move any spending bills through Congress (if they don’t create a budget, they need 60 votes to pass any spending);
  • Makes it more difficult to label routine expenditures “emergency spending”;
  • Eliminates phony rescissions (using phony spending projections to create savings used to pay for other items);
  • Makes real the fake federal pay freeze;
  • Disallows timing shifts, which bill drafters use to make a bill appear deficit-neutral within a certain time frame. (think of Obamacare)

Not only with this make it harder for Washington to hide spending and continue to trick the American people, but the Honest Budget Act would also help save money.  As point out at HotAir, . Since 2005, budget gimmicks have enabled more than $350 billion worth of additional deficit spending.

It will be interesting to see the response and opposition to this bill or if Harry Reid (D-Nevada) will even allow it to come up for a vote.

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