Ask Serious Questions About Fiscal Reform

Published Jun 27, 2012. By Stephen Abbott. In The Indianapolis Star.

The Congressional Budget Office released a statement this month highlighting the need for broad fiscal reforms. Debate by both of the presidential candidates as well as others running for federal offices has not focused on the real budget issues facing the country. Rather, it has centered on cuts in domestic and defense appropriations even though these programs are not the source of future budgetary pressures, according to the CBO. As the report made clear, the real pressure on the federal budget will be coming from entitlement programs over the next 25 years.

 

I am asking that The Star repeat the role it has played so effectively in the past and ask each of the Hoosier candidates running for federal office to give the voters a clear and concise answer to each of the following questions posed by the Concord Coalition:

  • Do you support the Bowles-Simpson $4 trillion deficit reduction target and the comprehensive approach that they recommended? If not, what would your target be and which areas of the budget would you exempt from deficit-reduction efforts?
  • Do you think discretionary spending programs should face steeper cuts than other parts of the budget? If so, what are some specific examples of the programs that should be cut the most?
  • What are examples of programs that you consider clearly wasteful or subject to widespread fraud and abuse, and how much savings would you expect to recover by reforming or eliminating these programs?
  • Could you identify areas where you see particular opportunities for bipartisan cooperation on fiscal reform?
  • Would you eliminate many of the tax preferences that now favor specific categories of individual taxpayers, companies or industries? If so, what are some examples of the tax preferences that you would support eliminating?
  • Do you believe substantial defense savings be achieved without jeopardizing national security?
  • Do you believe Social Security reform is necessary? If so, what changes would you support?
  • What specific examples of federal spending or tax provisions that benefit Indiana or your district would you support eliminating or reducing.

Please help all of us who are concerned and want to vote as informed citizens to get clear positions from each candidate.