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Issue Position: Controlling The Federal Deficit And Reducing The National Debt

Issue Position

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Scott Brown on controlling the federal deficit and reducing the national debt

Out-of-control spending threatens America's future, Taxpayers cannot support mountains of debt

Senator Brown is a budget hawk who supports a temporary freeze on non-defense discretionary spending. Any serious effort to control the deficit and start reducing the federal debt must begin with no-nonsense spending restraints. According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, non-defense discretionary spending is on track to increase by 16% this year, the highest one-year increase since Jimmy Carter in 1978. If America continues on this unsustainable fiscal path, it will lead to higher and higher taxes, a potential loss of confidence in the dollar and add to the nation's extraordinary debt burden, now at $12 trillion and counting. A freeze on non-military budget accounts is necessary to put the brakes on Washington's out-of-control spending binge and allow lawmakers to come up with a long-term strategy to reduce the deficit.

Senator Brown wants to provide the President with the line-item veto. Most governors have the power to veto individual sections of a spending bill to remove wasteful and unnecessary spending. Senator Brown supports giving line-item veto authority to the President. Under a 1996 Supreme Court ruling, the line item veto requires a constitutional amendment, a process that Congress and the states should undertake immediately. The line-item veto will allow the President to go after earmark abuse and introduces into the budget process a powerful weapon to crack down on out-of-control congressional spending.

Senator Brown is opposed to a second stimulus if it simply adds more spending without adding to employment. The first stimulus bill did not work. The push for a second spending stimulus is an admission that the first stimulus was a failure in creating jobs. Senator Brown believes that lawmakers should go back and recapture the stimulus dollars that have not been spent and either put them toward the deficit, or immediately spend them on infrastructure. He continues to believe that the best way to create jobs is with an across-the-board tax cut for businesses and families.

Senator Brown proposes a top-to-bottom review of all federal programs. Wasteful, unneeded and poorly-run programs need to be overhauled or eliminated as part of a review process that encompasses the entire federal government. Whenever new agencies and programs are enacted, Senator Brown supports including sunset provisions and the creation of a process administered by an independent board that would review and recommend non-renewal if the agency or program has outlived its usefulness. Senator Brown understands the true measure of whether a program is successful is not the size of its budget or the number of employees, but rather what is its effectiveness and how well has it served the public good.

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