Summer is the season for big budget blockbuster movies. Accordingly, Bankrupting America will review some of the latest and greatest budget busters in our new series, Debtflix as anticipation builds to the event of the summer: the debt ceiling. Between 2010 and 2012, the IRS spent $50 million on 220 conferences and a number of cheesy movies. What better way to kick off the season with an IRS marathon featuring the “Cupid Shuffle”?
Bankrupting America has launched our “Spend It Or Lose It” campaign in which we’re asking supporters to join with us to ask Congress to implement three initiatives that will address one of the federal government’s most basic budget problems, the principle that agencies either need to spend appropriated funds or lose them.
Red Alert Politics covers Bankrupting America's "Spend It Or Lose It" campaign. The "spend it or lose it" practice involves federal agencies scrambling to spend their entire budget before the end of the fiscal year or risk having their budget cut for the next year. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) cited the IRS spending scandal as just one consequence of this policy. Bankrupting America's online petition calls on lawmakers to allow extra funds to roll over and stop incentivizing waste.
Deficits are shrinking so our fiscal problems are solved, right? Wrong. As Washington settles into fiscal complacency after news of a monthly surplus in the federal budget and projections that the annual deficit is shrinking, long-term budget questions are ignored.
Wait, spending cuts will lead to … a surplus?! That’s what Time says helped the U.S. in June to post its largest monthly surplus since the recession. According to the magazine, “Spending in June declined to a level not seen in nearly a decade, falling to $170 billion — the lowest since a $161 billion month in November 2004.”
As the nation nears the $17 trillion debt mark, “Reps. Donna Edwards, D-Md., and Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, propose in the "Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act" that a national historical park on the moon be created to ensure the American landing sites are preserved for future generations.”
Today, the Treasury Department released its Monthly Treasury Statement for June, showing a budget surplus of $117 billion for the month. This is up from a $60 billion shortfall last June. It is important to note however, that because June 1, 2013 fell on a Saturday, certain payments that ordinarily would have been made in June were instead made in May, reducing June outlays by roughly $34 billion.
"Spend it or lose it" has been festering in Washington for more than 30 years and lies at the root of the culture of waste that plagues the federal government. ... Given that we are already $17 trillion in debt, federal agencies are making news constantly for waste and scandals, and we have had years of trillion-dollar deficits, shouldn't the policies in place promote fiscal responsibility and reward saving and smart spending?