ATR believes that the answer to the question of how much the government should be spending should categorically be “less than it currently does.” The government has consistently spent more than it takes in in revenue, creating a structural budget deficit that will only grow absent significant reevaluation of spending policy. For positive tax reform to take place and the overall burden of government to be decreased, spending restraint must be prioritized in federal budgeting. Current spending policy lacks real controls; the bias to spend is fueled by an infrastructure and culture that lacks both the will and tools to enact serious and lasting spending restraint. ATR believes the government’s overspending problem must be addressed in full; all discretionary spending must be scrutinized and streamlined while the unsustainable entitlement burden must be transformed.
Every dollar in government spending represents a dollar taken from the pocket of a taxpayer. As such, ATR believes taxpayers should be able to track their money, dollar-for-dollar, when the government spends it. We advocate for total spending transparency at the federal, state and local level, and work with policymakers and activists to implement comprehensive transparency reform for every level of government.