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Require Comptroller General to Deliver Fiscal State of the Union

by Clark Packard / /

Dear Member of Congress,

On behalf of the members of National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in support of H. Con. Res. 140, introduced by Representative Jim Renacci (R-OH). This bipartisan Concurrent Resolution would require the Comptroller General of the United States to appear before a joint session of Congress to deliver a presentation about our country’s fiscal condition and its long term outlook, based on audited financial statements. This is just the wakeup call the nation needs.

Simply put, the United States is on an unsustainable fiscal trajectory with outlays expected to drastically exceed revenue. In July, the national debt topped $19.4 trillion and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its latest long-term budget outlook, which projected a rising tide of red ink for years to come. This unsustainable trajectory is driven by our costly entitlement programs, specifically Social Security and Medicare. The CBO stated, “By 2046, projected spending for [Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid] for people 65 or older accounts for about half of all federal noninterest spending.” With rising debt, interest payments would also increase. This would leave less revenue for defense, infrastructure, and other federal priorities.

Unless corrective measures are taken sooner rather than later, investors in Treasuries will demand higher yields to compensate for the risk of possible default by the United States. Rising yields on government securities will force the United States to drastically raise taxes, cut spending – or most likely, a combination of both. Rising interest rates would crowd out spending on public priorities, and it would crowd out private sector investment by raising the costs of capital for our nation’s businesses and entrepreneurs. This situation would leave the United States less secure, less prosperous, and less free. Thankfully you can prevent this bleak scenario from becoming reality.  

Though H. Con. Res. 140 does not take direct action to rein in costly and increasingly unsustainable entitlement programs, it does shine a light on the problem in a very public way. NTU hopes this can be the impetus for serious, thoughtful reform that can correct our long-term fiscal imbalance. NTU is pleased to endorse H. Con. Res. 140 and strongly urges all Representatives to co-sponsor this common sense piece of legislation.

Sincerely,

Clark Packard
Counsel and Government Affairs Manager