2011-12-09 / Letters

Owe Allegiance To Benefactors

Dear Editor,

Why am I not surprised that the joint House/Senate supercommitte of 12 bipartisan members tasked with issuing recommendations by November 23 on cutting federal spending failed.

Each appointee owed allegiance to their respective benefactors – Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Twelve out of 535 members of the House and Senate were no more successful on finding and agreeing upon cuts than the full House and Senate in recent years. Few members of the “super committee” had knowledge of the detailed operations for all federal agencies. This basic information was necessary to understand what can or cannot be cut.

We should ask the ranking majority and minority leaders, along with their respective members, for each and every House and Senate committee responsible for individual Federal agencies to complete this assignment instead of the “super committee.”

Being a member on any of these committees should give you the expertise to cut within each federal agency’s budget. Force each committee to come up with detailed cuts which can be immediately implemented in the new federal budget, to be adopted on October 1, 2012.

Failure to come up with cuts should automatically result in the adoption of 2008 spending levels for the agencies in question. Go back to adopting the budget agency by agency rather than the midnight omnibus bill. This legislation rolls everything up for all agencies and provides no time for anyone to read and understand the fine print in the bill.

Dock every member of Congress and the President one day’s pay for each day the budget is not adopted after October 1, 2012. Cancel the upcoming Christmas recess and have them stay in Washington. Work evenings and weekends if necessary to solve our financial crisis. Stop putting off the difficult decisions to the next Congressional class of 2013.

I bet that would be the best incentive to force both political parties and the President to work out their differences on time and within budget.

LARRY PENNER

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