A “Bipartisan Fiscal Commission” would spend $12 million to study why the government spends too much and, inevitably, recommend tax hikes on the American people.
Last week, the House Budget Committee passed H.R. 5779, the Fiscal Commission Act (FCA) of 2023. This bill would establish a Fiscal Commission tasked with educating the public/bringing awareness to the debt problem and making recommendations/writing legislative language to “improve the long-term fiscal condition of the federal government.”
This bill would give the commission the clear authority to recommend tax increases which would then be given “expedited consideration” in the House and Senate. In short, it is a tax trap.
On the Senate side, Mitt Romney and Joe Manchin are pushing a companion measure. Romney and Manchin are already trying to impose tax increases as part of the commission.
Not only would this commission lead to tax hike recommendations, but to conduct its “duties,” it would cost taxpayers an estimated $12 million.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) H.R. 5779 would cost $12 million over the 2024-2025 period. This money would primarily be spent on the “public awareness campaign,” in addition to hiring staff, traveling expenses, hearings, stenographic services, and utilization of government services.
To be clear, the American people are not confused about how the government spends so much money. They do not need to fund a commission to uncover areas in which the government overspends. They certainly do not need to fund a commission which will conspire against them to raise their taxes.
H.R. 5779 would establish a 16-member commission, with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate. For legislative language to pass out of the commission, it would only need a simple majority of the voting members with the caveat that the majority would have to include at least 3 members from each party.
Well-meaning Republicans in support of this bill are relying on the idea that Democrats will support legislative framework to reduce spending without a tax increase. This is quite the assumption, considering this bill only received substantive Democrat support because the House Budget Committee changed the bill to explicitly leave the door open to tax hike recommendations.
For the short two years Democrats had power of both chambers and the presidency, they worked relentlessly to increase both spending and taxes. Republicans were given control of the House specifically because voters were dissatisfied with these reckless policies.
It is mystifying that, with this control, members are pushing for the creation of a Fiscal Commission that would put Democrats on equal ground with Republicans in drafting legislation for the House to consider.
Under no circumstance would a Democrat on the commission accept legislative framework that excluded tax hikes. Americans should not be forced to fund any efforts to raise their taxes.