Promoting responsible government
Column by Bob Goodlatte
Working to reduce government waste is a significant undertaking and one to which I remain firmly dedicated, even in a Congress where excessive spending runs rampant.
It is critical to ensure that the Congress responsibly manages federal spending, especially our tax dollars, to fund our nation’s priorities through greater transparency and accountability. That is why I have worked to rein in wasteful and unnecessary spending by voting for the tightest budgets offered and supporting reductions in overall government spending. Responsible spending benefits everyone and I strongly believe that all federal programs should undergo scrutiny in order to ensure that they are working effectively to meet the needs of our citizens. Those that are not should be reformed or repealed.
Even as we face significant expenditures we must continue to look for opportunities to reduce overall government spending. The rapid growth of entitlement programs, which have tripled in cost as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product in the last 40 years, cannot be sustained without badly needed reform.
For this reason, I have cosponsored important legislation which would create a sunset commission to review our country’s federal agencies. The Securing America’s Future Economy Commission Act, otherwise known as the SAFE Commission, establishes a national bipartisan commission that will examine everything – entitlement spending, as well as all other federal programs and our nation’s tax policies – and present long-term solutions which will help place the U.S. on a fiscally sustainable course and ensure the solvency of these important government programs.
The SAFE Commission will be modeled after the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, the process which has been successfully used by the Defense Department to determine the effectiveness of our military bases and realign them to make them a more beneficial fit for our country’s needs. As our country’s needs change, so should our government and this vital legislation would determine what agencies are performing most efficiently for the citizens they represent.
Just last week in his State of the Union address, the president called on Congress to “offer proposals and come up with a bipartisan solution to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid” for future generations. The SAFE Commission would do just that by better targeting government funds and eliminating wasteful government spending. It is time for the House of Representatives to pass this critical legislation.
The SAFE Commission will help us curtail wasteful spending, increase Congressional accountability, and reduce overall government spending. I believe it is our duty as members of Congress to exercise great care and responsibility in managing our spending priorities, and I will continue working to make sure the hard-earned dollars of my constituents are handled responsibly in Congress and that wasteful government spending is stopped.
Bob Goodlatte represents Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District in the United States Congress. Contact him at www.house.gov/goodlatte/emailbob.htm.