WASHINGTON -- Today, the Concord Coalition issued its “Checklist for a Fiscally Responsible Budget Resolution.” This issue brief describes attributes any budget resolution intent on combating the deficit should have.
Congress begins the fiscal year 2007 budget process with a familiar dilemma. The short-term deficit is substantial, the long-term outlook is even worse, and the only realistic options for dealing with the problem are spending cuts or tax increases that politicians would like to avoid -- particularly in an election year.
Given these circumstances, it would be all too easy for Congress to adopt a budget resolution that simply ignores the looming fiscal problems. Doing so, however, would be an abdication of responsibility. The deeply ingrained mismatch between current spending and tax policies will not go away if it is ignored. In fact, it will get worse. And while it is unreasonable to expect that Congress will deal with this problem in a single budget resolution, it is not unreasonable to expect Congress to adopt an honest budget resolution that faces up to the challenge and takes at least some realistic steps to deal with it.
“Aside from providing a short-term fiscal blueprint, the budget resolution sets the tone for future actions,” stated Robert L. Bixby, Executive Director of The Concord Coalition. “A budget resolution that pretends there are no sacrifices to be made -- that we can keep doing everything we're currently doing and promise to do in the future -- would set a false tone of fiscal security.”
The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grass roots organization dedicated to balanced federal budgets and generationally responsible fiscal policy. Former U.S. Senators Warren Rudman (R-NH) and Bob Kerrey (D-NE) serve as Concord's co-chairs and former Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson serves as president.