axpayer advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) outlines proposal to cut government spending by term-limiting those in Congress who spend the money.

WASHINGTON – The size of government continues to grow: Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation\’s leading taxpayer advocacy organization, released its annual Cost of Government Day (COGD) report showing that the total cost of government at the federal, state, and local levels has risen to near-historic levels.

But where to lay the blame? Taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, president of ATR and a longtime critic of government overspending, says the blame lies with the appropriations process and those who run it.

"There\’s an old saying that Washington has three political parties: the Republicans, the Democrats, and the Appropriators," said Norquist on Friday in a press conference marking COGD. "Budget Committee members are already limited to 6 years, and serious reform of the appropriations process – beginning with four-year term limits for those on appropriations committees – should be considered to keep the government from spending out of control," he added later.

Today\’s COGD press conference marked today, July 11th, as the date in the calendar year when Americans had paid off their share of the entire cost of government spending and regulations at the federal, state and local levels. The cost of government, after declining for eight years between 1992 and 2000, has risen so much in the past three years that COGD has been pushed back to near 1992 levels.

"Government is growing at unsustainable rates at all levels: local, state and federal," continued Norquist, "and much of the increase is due to those at the head of the appropriations processes, both here in Washington and in our 50 state capitols across the country."

The idea of term-limiting appropriators comes after the great success of term-limiting committee chairmen in several reform acts in 1995, during the 104th Congress.

"Before the 1995 reforms, so much power was concentrated in the hands of a few ancient old men like Jack Brooks Dan Rostenkowski who were so entrenched that they worked for no one but themselves," continued Norquist. "They were rooted out, and a good sanitization of the appropriations committee should be next on the reforms list."