We’re excited to announce that Coalition president Jonathan Bydlak will be the newest regular contributor to The Hill. His content will be featured monthly, and we’re excited to discuss timely spending issues with an ever-growing audience.
You’ve probably noticed that our work has been receiving substantial attention, with the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal and the Atlas Network most recently writing about SpendingTracker.org.
As Congress works to move on from flawed attempts to repeal Obamacare, it’s important to remember that budget season is just getting started.
Writing in Rare last week, Jake Grant pointed out the danger inherent in forgetting about the cause of our generation. Read the full piece here.
Open information and stronger accountability are the most powerful tools in the fight for fiscal sanity, and we won’t be satisfied until every American has access to both.
Earlier today, Coalition founder & president Jonathan Bydlak released the following statement on the American Healthcare Act (AHCA).
Later this evening, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the American Healthcare Act (AHCA).
As you know, we’ve been outspoken about the issues with this legislation from day one.
And while we acknowledge that the leadership’s bill would make some important progress, I remain deeply concerned.
As supporters of the bill note, the legislation would increase health savings accounts (HSAs) and swap the individual mandate with “continuous coverage” provisions, while promising to eventually roll back the expensive Medicaid expansion.
Representatives who decide that the pros of this bill outweigh the cons (or that the AHCA is the best we can do!) will not have violated the Coalition’s pledge.
However, I would be remiss if I did not note the very real issues with this framework.
While the bill is a net spending cut, it also does little to control healthcare costs over the medium to long term and essentially creates a new entitlement.
What’s more, it replaces Obamacare’s individual mandate with a provision that simply burdens insurance companies and consumers by a different method, while keeping alive many costly regulations that are threatening the stability of the market to begin with.
Even if every spending cut proposed in this legislation comes to pass, the bill fundamentally fails to control healthcare costs that are increasingly burdening taxpayers.
At best, this is a missed opportunity — at worst, it’s bad policy and a net loss for the country as the essential framework of the Affordable Care Act is kept alive without significant attempts to deal with underlying problems.
While leadership insists that this legislation does all that is possible in a Reconciliation bill and that further reforms are coming soon, both assumptions warrant serious skepticism.
Too often, fiscal conservatives are promised spending cuts down the road in exchange for new spending or bigger government today.
As the saying goes, fool me once…
Barring significant changes, we urge Members of Congress to oppose the AHCA.
Today, the Coalition to Reduce Spending was proud to sign on to a letter urging Congress to take up smart flood insurance reforms to ensure that the National Flood Insurance Program does not further burden the taxpayers.
Dear Chairmen Crapo and Hensarling and Ranking Members Brown and Waters:
SmarterSafer – a broad based coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations, and mitigation advocates – supports the Committee’s efforts to strengthen the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides needed insurance coverage and floodplain management protection but is now almost $25 billion in debt to taxpayers. In addition to the NFIP debt, the country continues to spend hundreds of billions of dollars post-disaster as a result of our unpreparedness for storms. NFIP and disaster assistance provide important benefits; however these programs have not done enough to mitigate risk and must be significantly reformed to achieve a safer future for our Nation. Any reforms must ensure that the federal government is not encouraging development in risky or environmentally sensitive areas.
Read the full letter here.
This post originally appeared at Institute to Reduce Spending.
President Trump has a golden opportunity to appeal to the fiscal hawks who were wary about how he would address the $20 trillion national debt. With large cuts to the EPA, Dept. of State, and Dept. of Labor—among other things—things look optimistic for fiscal conservatives. However, the largest portion of the budget, mandatory spending, remains untouched. Mandatory spending accounts for nearly two-thirds of the entire budget, so drastic cuts to other departments are encouraging but ultimately miss the root of the debt problem.
Don’t get us wrong: It’s great that President Trump is recommending these cuts as well as reorganizing agencies within the executive branch to increase efficiency, but refusing to even discuss reforms to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare means turning a blind eye to the biggest part of the iceberg that sits just under the surface. Even more troubling, increasing Pentagon spending goes to offset the other cuts, leaving taxpayers in the same position as before. After you add in expected tax cuts, the case for spending reform continues to grow. Even ignoring the possibility of economic unrest or fiscal crises down the road, rising deficits and a debt so large come with real concerns today.
Just last week the Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates, which is a reminder that holding on to a massive debt and large interest payments is a real risk that could be closer than many like to think. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal government’s net interest costs will go from 1.4 percent of GDP in 2016 to 3.0 percent of GDP in 2026 and to 5.8 percent of GDP by 2046—and if interest rates continue to rise, so could this percentage.
This is extremely detrimental to our fiscal security and becomes an even bigger problem when paired with ignoring mandatory spending. With another debt limit hike coming soon, Representatives should look for meaningful ways to restrain government spending. It is imperative that the spending problem in Washington gets addressed, and small cuts are worth celebrating but will not fix the problem. With a united government, there is a real opportunity for meaningful spending reform – which Representatives ought to seek now more than ever, if we want to ensure America’s continued prosperity.
Georgia’s 6th Congressional district and South Carolina’s 5th contain a myriad of qualified candidates, but so far, two candidates have been willing to put their fiscally conservative promises onto paper.
Mrs. Sheri Few will be competing in the May 2nd special primary for OMB Director Mick Mulvaney’s old seat (SC-5). Ms. Few signed the Reject-the-Debt pledge because of her concern for our growing $20 trillion national debt.
“We cannot sustain excuses and promises while the debt ceiling continues to be raised,” said Few, while discussing how Congress should handle the debt ceiling deadline we reached this week.
David Abroms, the first signer from Georgia’s 6th district previously held by HHS Secretary Tom Price, conveyed conviction while discussing how “Washington’s irresponsible spending” is not just a threat to our present, but to our future. “My generation will be faced with a budget crisis unparalleled in our history if we continue on our current path of reckless regulation, borrowing, and spending,” he said.
Mr. Abroms said that by signing the pledge, he knows he has, “taken an important step towards restoring fiscal sanity in Washington.”
Come election day, constituents can have faith that Mr. Abroms and Mrs. Few have backed up their tough talk on reducing government spending by putting their promises on paper. Let’s hope their fellow candidates follow suit.