WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the nation’s largest taxpayer watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), urged President Obama to deliver a “Taxpayers’ State of the Union Address” that would propose the following fiscal and policy reforms:
- Eliminate duplicative, mismanaged and wasteful government programs. The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) has issued three annual reports (2011, 2012, and 2013) on duplicative and overlapping federal programs. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) estimates the total cost of these programs totals $295 billion annually. To date, President Obama has offered few proposals that would implement GAO’s recommendations, and those that he has included in his budgets have not yielded sufficient savings.
- Significantly decrease the budget deficit and national debt by reigning in wasteful spending. From January 2009 to December 2013, the White House and Congress added $5.8 trillion to the federal deficit, according to the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that was signed into law on December 26, 2013 increased discretionary spending by $45 billion above the $967 billion fiscal year 2014 Budget Control Act level. Instead of calling for the usual modest reforms that would do little or nothing to reduce the deficit and debt, President Obama must offer significant cost-cutting proposals such as the 557 recommendations in CAGW’s 2013 Prime Cuts, which would save taxpayers $580.6 billion in one year and $1.8 trillion over five years.
- Promote pro-growth economic policies. The share of Americans either working or looking for work sank to 62.8 percent in December 2013, the lowest level since 1977. Almost four million people have been out of work for more than six months, and there are fewer people with jobs in the U.S. today than six years ago. For the first time in history, working-age people now make up the majority in U.S. households that rely on food stamps rather than children and the elderly, and 13 million more Americans are in poverty than when President Obama took office. A national survey found that nearly three-fourths of 1,000 likely voters believe the country is on the wrong track, with more than 80 percent rating the national economy as just fair or poor. In order to improve the economy for all Americans, President Obama must refrain from using executive orders to circumvent the legislative process, urge the Senate to act on the 40 jobs bills that have been passed by the House, and not make any recommendations to raise taxes on individuals or business.
- Identify and provide alternatives to the failed policies of the ACA. After President Obama claimed “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” more than five million Americans received cancellation notices for healthcare plans they liked and could afford, and were instead forced to purchase plans that complied with ACA regulations and mandatory benefit packages. When the President sold his health care legislation to Congress, he declared that the total cost of ACA would be around $900 billion over 10 years. But with the law’s major provisions set to kick in this year, CBO projected that the law will cost double that amount, or $1.8 trillion, and 30 million Americans will still be left uninsured. President Obama should work with members of Congress on legislation that would end the government takeover of healthcare and give control of healthcare decisions to individual Americans by allowing them to choose their own plan and doctors.
“At a time when an overwhelming number of Americans disapprove of the direction the country is headed, it is time for President Obama to focus on what really matters, which is improving America’s economy by enforcing a culture of fiscal restraint in Washington,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Taxpayers can no longer afford a Congress and an administration that refuses to take responsibility for a government that is going broke. This is a critically low point in our nation’s economic history. President Obama must become a pro-taxpayer leader and support pro-growth policies, eliminate wasteful government spending, and stop digging America into a deeper hole of limited opportunity and continued deficits and debt both now and for future generations.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.