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State of California November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

Carly's Plan To Rein In Out-Of-Control Government Spending

By Carly Fiorina

Candidate for United States Senator

This information is provided by the candidate
Our rising national debt and unsustainable federal deficit threaten long-term economic growth and job creation. In order to put Americans back to work, get small enterprises back in business and boost economic growth beyond just 2 or 3 percent, we have to reduce the stress that record-high federal spending places on our economy.

For too long, Washington has headed in the wrong direction by spending money we don't have and increasing the size of government year after year. Unless federal spending is brought under control, persistent trillion-dollar annual deficits will lead to devastating tax increases and even more fiscally irresponsible borrowing.

This year, Congress will spend more than $31,000 per household, the highest in American history and $5,000 more per household than in 2008. According to the White House Budget Office, our deficit this year will be a record $1.47 trillion, and we will have $10 trillion in deficit spending over the decade. America's national debt now stands at $13.5 trillion and is on its way to $20 trillion. That amounts to more than $43,000 in debt per person in this country.

Projections show that by 2020, we will have to spend $1.1 trillion -- about $10,000 per household -- just to pay the interest on our national debt. This hurts our economy because money spent to borrow is money that is not available for private-sector investment in new plants or equipment, which would help create jobs and grow our economy.

In order to get our economy back on track, Congress must implement common-sense budget solutions that control spending, cut waste and restore accountability, strengthen transparency and reduce the debt. Carly is committed to working in the U.S. Senate to make inroads into out-of-control spending and unsustainable levels of debt by supporting and pursuing the following policy proposals:


Pass The Bipartisan Sessions/McCaskill Spending Cap Bill. This modest proposal is the first step toward a spending freeze; however, it is one vote short in the Senate. Not including the failed stimulus, non-defense discretionary spending has increased by 10 percent in each of the past two years. The Environmental Protection Agency, for example, received a 37 percent increase last year alone. Passage of this bill would force Congress to once again make tough choices to prioritize spending.

Set Annual Spending Caps. Congress needs a clear roadmap to a balanced budget by capping spending to the historical average of 20 percent of the economy. It is currently set to increase six percentage points over the historical average to 26 percent of the economy by the end of the decade. We should not tempt Washington insiders to play games with balanced budgets or PAY-GO gimmicks to force tax hikes. Instead, we must tackle the problem head on and force spending cuts. Carly proposes to start by returning spending to 2008 levels.

Rein in Government. The federal workforce has expanded by 14.5 percent over the past two years, and the number of federal employees making more than $100,000 per year during this recession has jumped to nearly one in five. Congress should freeze federal civilian workforce pay and hire just one civilian employee for every two who leave government service until the federal workforce returns to 2008 levels. The only exception to this under Carly's plan would be for national security.


End Ineffective Programs. Government auditors spent the past five years examining all federal programs and found that 22 percent of them fail to show any positive impact, but cost taxpayers $123 billion every year. These programs need to be held accountable for producing their intended results. When they don't, they should be scaled back and reformed so that they have a positive impact; if they do not succeed, they should be ended.

Make Authorizations Matter. Taxpayers should have confidence that their tax dollars are being spent wisely, and that requires ending the permanency Congress automatically gives many government programs. As program authorizations expire, Congress must review each and vote to continue, reform or end them so that only effective programs receive additional funding. This is work Congress has put off for too long, but such oversight will help improve both program efficiency and program effectiveness.

End Special Projects. Congress must end earmarks and sweetheart deals like the "Cornhusker Kickback" and the "Louisiana Purchase." Legislation identified to have special deals should be rejected. The president should also have the authority to line item veto any spending not in the national interest.


Provide Transparency In Budgeting. Congress should put agency budgets and quarterly reports of their spending online so the public can see how each agency is spending taxpayer dollars and on what priorities. We must audit unspent funds annually and place an expiration date on all unobligated funds, after which they must be returned to the Treasury. According to the White House Budget Office, federal agencies ended the last fiscal year with $657 billion in unobligated funds. Congress is appropriating funds faster than the government can spend it.

Provide Transparency In Lawmaking. Any bill brought to the floor of the Senate should be put online for public comment at least two weeks before it is voted on. Citizens should also have access to the same information about committee hearings, amendments and other official acts of Congress that members have so that they can get a clear view into the issues being debated.

Evaluate The Financial Impact Of EVERY Bill. Every bill should be evaluated with a complete cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office available online at least a week before being voted on. Not only must we know both the short-term and the long-term costs of every bill, but we must also ensure businesses understand how legislation will affect their ability to meet budgets, make payrolls and hire workers.


Let Americans Choose To Use Their Tax Dollars To Pay Down Debt. By giving taxpayers the opportunity to designate 0 to 10 percent of their federal tax liability towards debt reduction, we allow them to choose what is more important: funding government programs or cutting spending. Congress would then have to cut spending by the aggregate amount contributed by taxpayers. If every taxpayer contributed 10 percent of his or her liability, this would put about $95 billion toward debt reduction in just one year.

Return Unused Stimulus Money. The stimulus has failed to deliver the results the American people were promised by the Obama administration and by our representatives in Washington. Congress should return the remaining stimulus money to the Treasury with direction to use it for debt reduction.

End Bailouts. The President and Congress need to unlatch taxpayers from their ownership stakes in Detroit, Wall Street, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the end of 2011 and permanently ban government ownership in companies. Additionally, any revenue generated from the government's exiting equity positions in companies should be put toward paying down the debt.

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