Terry Paulson

Thankfully, the states are leading the way. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took on baseline budgeting and won: "For too many years, our government has operated under the belief that the baseline--the place you begin--is to continue to fund every program in the budget: regardless of the fiscal climate, regardless of the economy, and regardless of the effectiveness of the program. Not anymore... (You) build a realistic budget from the bottom up. You find what you need--this year--to succeed.... Zero-based budgeting, which I promised in the campaign, has finally come to New Jersey."

Even the Democratic Governor of NY, Andrew Cuomo, has seen the light. He wrote in the N.Y. Post, "I was shocked to learn that the state's budget process is a sham.... When a governor takes office, in many ways the die has already been cast. ... For example, what is called a 7 percent cut in spending is actually a 6 percent increase over the prior year... This all must end." Gov Cuomo did end it and got the legislature to agree to an actual 2 percent across-the-board spending cut without raising taxes.

Finally, on February 3, 2012, through the efforts of Representatives Louie Gohmert and Rob Woodall, the GOP celebrated the passing of HR 920--The Baseline Reform Act. The bill would institute zero-baseline budgeting which starts from a "zero base," and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are built around what is needed, regardless of whether the budget item goes up or down.

There was no fanfare in the media, and, under Senator Harry Reid, the bill is unlikely to see the light of day in the Democrat-controlled Senate. You can change that in November!

Like any responsible family or business, budgeting at times requires spending cuts and tough choices. If you want politicians to be forced to make tough choices on where your tax dollars go, elect Mitt Romney and send in a few more fiscal conservatives to Washington and Sacramento.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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