Can the 114th Congress overcome gridlock and enact important economic reforms? Heritage expert Daren Bakst say yes. In a new report, Bakst outlines 26 proposals that should be non-controversial and may already enjoy broad support. Here are five of them:
- Balance the budget. Congress has until April 15th to decide on a budget outline for the next ten years. Lawmakers should agree on ways to cut overall spending and debt so the budget balances in 2025.
- Make Congress decide on expensive regulations, not bureaucrats. Major rules and regulations costing over $100 million dollars obviously have a big effect on the economy. Unelected bureaucrats in federal agencies can have the final say on these costly regulations. Congress should pass legislation that requires a vote on any major rule proposed by a federal agency to ensure elected lawmakers have a final say.
- Keep the Federal Reserve in check. Congress should establish a National Monetary Commission to hold the Federal Reserve accountable. The commission would provide a forum for experts to debate the validity of operations and the appropriate role of the Fed. In addition, such a Commission could make recommendations to Congress about how to reform the Fed in the future.
- Take food stamps out of the farm bill. Whether they’re for or against food stamps, all Congressmen can agree that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program shouldn’t be lumped in with agriculture policies. Yet food stamps are 80 percent of the farm bill’s spending! By separating agricultural appropriations from nutrition assistance, Congress can make it clear where taxpayer funds are going and start reforming pork-barrel farm spending.
- Kick-start tax reform by halting the “tax extenders” debate. Lawmakers devote a lot of time to debates over renewing temporary tax provisions known as “tax extenders.” By making these provisions permanent, Congress can get to work on more important tax issues without the distraction of renewing these provisions.
What do you think of these ideas?