Today marks the beginning of a new fiscal year. We are happy to see FY 09 go – the year was riddled with incredibly wasteful spending, bailout after bailout and an almost trillion dollar spending and debt package that has brought us higher unemployment and higher taxes. Transparency also suffered heavy casualties in FY 09; the "stimulus" was passed without a single member who voted for it having read it and the "cap-and-trade" bill wasn't even fully compiled when the vote on it took place. In hopes that taxpayers fare better in 2010, ATR is encouraging Congress and the President to adopt the following New Fiscal Year Resolutions:
#1 – Don’t raise taxes.
President Obama repeatedly promised in 2008 and 2009 that he would not raise “any form of taxes” on families making less than $250,000 per year. This has been violated several times already this past fiscal year. Both the House and Senate versions of health care legislation contain tax hikes on working families. The first and most important New Year’s resolution should be to live up to the promise President Obama made on behalf of the Democrat majority.
#2 – Enact mandatory waiting periods and online posting requirements for all legislation and conference reports. In light of the way recent spending bills have been rammed through Congress with little debate and accountability, Congress should enact a requirement that all bills and conference reports should be posted online for at least three consecutive days. Amendments should set back the clock. Given that 83 percent of the people say they want final bills to be posted online before Congress votes on them, and 64 percent of these 83 percent want bills online for two weeks or more, a 72-hour online posting requirement as put forth by H.Res. 554 (a bill for which a discharge petition is currently being circulated as it had been bottled up) is a modest proposal that should be enacted swiftly.
#3 – Get out of the government bailout business and rescind the unobligated “stimulus” funds. Efforts to rectify the fiscal recklessness of the past year come in the form of policy proposals such as Rep. Tom Price’s REBOUND Act and the Repeal the Stimulus Act, introduced by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). These bills would rescind all unobligated TARP and “stimulus” funds and require all repayment of TARP funds to be used for reducing the national debt. While they won’t erase the damage done by the money already wasted under the guise of economic “stimulus” they will be a strong step towards greater fiscal restraint in Congress.
#4 – Refrain from forcing jobs out the United States under the façade of “climate change” legislation
The “Cap-and-Trade” bill passed that passed the House will cost the United States a million jobs and increase American families’ energy bills by $4,600. The Senate has proposed similar legislation that could cost Americans up to an additional $200 billion per year. The bill that passed the House would, at best, have a negligible environmental impact while imposing catastrophic change on the American economy.
#5 – Listen to the American People
At least 615,000 people protest government spending at more than 630 “tea parties” across the country on April 15 and the White House responds with general contempt and condescension. Taxpayers from across the country converge on Washington to express their dissatisfaction with the current government – the White House responds by telling Americans they are just “wrong.” After Americans show an overwhelming disapproval of his health care plan, the President goes on a national media blitz, claiming he is “not breaking through.” President Obama should be focusing less on the rhetoric and devote more time to crafting better policy.
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photo credit: jmtimages