Commenting on the proposed legislation, Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz said, "Federal programs that do not demonstrate measurable results are rarely scrutinized. Funding them is like forcing investors to buy shares in a business that is losing money."
The long overdue need for these commissions should be evident when one considers that about one-third of the fiscal 2005 discretionary budget is unauthorized. Comprehensive reviews of federal spending might save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. CAGW has done just that, saving taxpayers $758 billion by helping to implement findings from the Grace Commission, during the Reagan Administration, as well as other recommendations.
The Sunset and Results Commissions are needed now because federal spending is out of control. Spending must be properly monitored by an entity that places the interests of those who earn the money over those who didn't earn it and can spend it with little accountability.
While the Sunset and Results Commissions are good ideas, Congress will ultimately decide which programs and agencies get dropped and which remain. Since Congress has given us the deficit problem because Congress spends our money, it could be a conflict of interest to expect it to provide a solution. That's why taxpayers must not only push for enactment of these commissions, but also monitor what Congress does with their recommendations.
If taxpayers want to keep more of the money they earn, they must also work to become less dependent on a government check. We look to government too often and to ourselves not enough. When that dynamic reverses, our need of government will be reflected in less government. That will benefit the economy and the government more than additional revenue.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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