WASHINGTON -- Ed Lorenzen, Policy Director of The Concord Coalition, testified today before the House Budget Committee in support of proposals to grant the President modified line item veto authority while noting that it will not have a significant impact on the deficit.
“Enactment of modified line item veto authority will take a step toward reducing the public cynicism about the political process and send a signal to the public that politicians in Washington are willing to set aside narrow parochial interests and make hard choices for the common good. Restoring public confidence in the budget process is an important step in gaining the support that will be necessary to make the difficult choices required to address our fiscal challenges.”
In his testimony, Lorenzen expressed Concord's strong support for the decision to apply modified line item veto to special interest tax breaks as well as spending and provisions ensuring that the savings from the modified line item veto would be dedicated to deficit reduction.
While expressing Concord's support for the modified line item veto, Lorenzen cautioned that it is not likely to have a significant impact on budgetary outcomes. “The spending and tax items that would be affected by these provisions represents a relatively small portion of the budget. Simply cracking down on everyone's favorite target of ‘waste, fraud and abuse,' is not enough to get the job done.”
Lorenzen reiterated Concord's support forpay-as-you-go budget enforcement rules for all tax and spending legislation that would increase the deficit, noting that “The legislative actions which have the greatest impact on the deficit are expansions of entitlement programs or tax cuts that go well beyond the scope of this legislation.”
“The proposed modified line item veto and similar proposals would not remotely begin to address the magnitude of our fiscal challenges,” Lorenzen said in the conclusion of his testimony. “However, granting the President modified line item veto authority could be a useful tool in improving the accountability of the budget process and achieving greater public confidence in the budget process that will be necessary to make the tough choices on much larger fiscal issues.”
The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grass roots organization dedicated to balanced federal budgets and generationally responsible fiscal policy.
The full text of Lorenzen's
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