Taxpayer advocacy group outlines proposal to cut government spending by term-limiting those in Congress who spend the money.

WASHINGTON – The size of government continues to grow: Americans for Tax Reform’s (ATR) annual Cost of Government Day (COGD) report shows that the total cost of government at the federal, state, and local levels has risen to near-historic levels in 2005 and is expected to grow even more in 2006.

But where to lay the blame? Taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, president of ATR and a longtime critic of government overspending, says the blame lies in part 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 today at a press conference with taxpayer groups demanding changes to the spending spree occurring in Washington. "Budget Committee members are already limited to six years, and serious reform of the appropriations process–beginning with four-year term limits for those on appropriations committees–should be considered in order to keep the government from spending out of control.”

Reportedly, the failure of the House of Representatives to pass a fiscal year budget before the recess was the fault of the Appropriations Committee members’ refusal to support common sense budget reforms included in the package. This occurred despite broad agreement on the budget between House leadership, conservatives, and moderate Republicans. But the Appropriations Committee did not believe any reforms designed to reduce future government spending should be included in the final package.

"Government is growing at unsustainable rates at all levels: local, state and federal," continued Norquist. "The average American worked ten additional days in 2005 to pay for government spending and regulations compared to 2000. And much of the spending increase is due to those at the head of the appropriations processes, both here in Washington and in our 50 state capitals across the country. Clearly, the system is broken and must be fixed."

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.