The Heritage Foundation’s already substantial work on budget policy just got a tremendous boost. Thanks to a grant from the Grover Hermann Foundation, Heritage will be creating the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget. The gracious trustees at the Grover Hermann Foundation have supported Heritage for many years, and now their contribution will be memorialized as we continue this vital work.

The new center will be housed in the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, which has a long history of producing groundbreaking research and bold policy recommendations. One example of that is the Blueprint for Balance which details exactly how Congress can cut spending by hundreds of billions of dollars and put the government on track to end deficit spending in just seven years.

Grover M. Hermann was an exemplary conservative who stood for free enterprise and founded the American Marietta Corporation, which is now Lockheed Martin. As a philanthropist, Mr. Hermann championed change through generous donations.

The new Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget was created with a $5 million grant from The Hermann Foundation. Grover Hermann’s dedication to conservative principles will live on, as the center will tackle the pressing budget issues of our time.

The creation of this research center will play a key role in The Heritage Foundation’s efforts to enact conservative reform in the federal budget process. Preserving the American ideals of hard work, prosperity, and liberty for our members is why we are here. Thank you for trusting us with that responsibility.

What changes would you like to see to the federal budget process?

Comments (33)

Edward Craven - October 1, 2018

Have a federal law or amendment to Constitution requiring federal government to balance the budget every year.

Have the budget approved in sections rather than the entire budget approved at once. Hope would be to eliminate pork barrel spending.

Have budget deadlines for each section of the budget that gets budget approved at least three months before Congressional elections.

Robert Earle - October 1, 2018

I can offer no suggestions for improvement in the process. I simply compliment you folks for doing all that you can to secure a balanced budgeting process.

Alan Lemke - October 1, 2018

Clearly state the deficit built in to each separately stated category of the budget, eg.
Defense
Budget $XX trillions
Revenue $XX trillions
Deficit. $XX trillions

Welfare, Farm etc.

ED LONG - October 1, 2018

Not sure this is the correct category for this question but is there any hope of ever completely abolishing the evil IRS or at least making extremely drastic changes to that system and taking the teeth out of the monster. I don’t think they should have their own swat team and they should not be able to destroy people by seizing bank accounts and forcing people to hire legal teams to go against the IRS who has unlimited funds to fight us with their legal teams that we pay for. It’s like you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent and many cannot afford to do that and are destroyed by this out of control and over reaching entity.

Doris Smeby - October 1, 2018

Eliminate Federal Unions-
Combine Labor Dept and Education- Isn’t that what education is all about
English Official Language of US
Reform Welfare- Require Work or school or both
Build the Wall

Eunice Maud LaSpisa - October 1, 2018

I believe that budget should have more than one overseer. The proposed budget should contain a complete written explanation of what is being covered.
I am 100% in favor of Doris Smeby propositions-especially English as the Official Language.
I have a suggestion-how about only natural born citizens should have the right to vote.What do you think?

Tim Grosscup - October 1, 2018

Require Congress to use standard accounting practices/methods.

Henry Vance - October 1, 2018

The federal budget process should be like this:
Federal departments and federal committees should present their proposed budgets by January 1.
The executive branch should take the proposed budgets and organize them into a proposed federal budget by April 1 and forward the budget to congress on that date.
The House of Representatives should take the budget, debate it, modify it and send it to the Senate by June 1.
The Senate should take the budget from the House, debate it, modify it, approve it and send it to the President by August 1 for signature. The House and Senate should not break for vacation until the budget is signed.

Jeff Tallman - October 1, 2018

I am a heritage member and realize the only real way to deficit reduction is term limits but don’t hold your breath. Solution to ss and medicare. is to combine ss and medicare then adjust over time to be sustainable. also those who can pay more should to some degree (that includes me). I refer to my republican party as the party of stupid.

Lawrence B Austin - October 1, 2018

I don’t know a lot about the process itself but I totally agree with my Tennessee Senator Bob Corker that the biggest threat to our nation is the huge and out-of-control federal deficit. Perhaps a better budget process will help bring down and eventually eliminate the deficit.

Pat Ellis - October 1, 2018

The size & inefficiency of our gov’t must be changed. Every gov’t agency has grown yearly since its conception. They no longer work within their original mandate or reason for their existence. They add policies & projects & staff yearly in order to facilitate an increase in their budget each year. Gov’t must be cut and by law limited to their original mandates.

Pat Ellis - October 1, 2018

We will never balance the budget if it is ignored! The National deficit will continue to grow as long as SPENDING id not controlled. There are two major actions Congress can take to control spending – stop unauthorized appropriations and stop PORK and other unrelated spending being added to bills. Congressmen waive or disregard their own rules against unauthorized appropriations. And almost every bill that passes has pork added. Our deficit is caused by congressmen’s irresponsibility!!!

Pat Ellis - October 1, 2018

The Budget should NOT have to be voted on at the last minute so that one party or the other feels that they have to shut down the gov’t to get what they want. H. Vance’s idea of holding congressmen during their vacation is a great idea!

Pat Ellis - October 1, 2018

Lower deficit & Budget by cutting gov’t. Out gov’t is so overblown that many agencies are doing the same job without anyone knowing it. There are 4 Internet articles in 2013 about this wasteful duplication. Billions wasted!

Pat Ellis - October 1, 2018

CUT SIZE OF GOV”T! How many gov’t agencies? In 2015, the Fed. Register indicated there were over 430 departments, agencies & sub agencies. Depending on what sourse you ask, you get a different number. It appears that no one really knows how many federal agencies exist!
We have 27 Federal Consumer protection Agencies. We have 17 Intelligence Agencies. and on and on….

Harvie Beavers - October 1, 2018

Return states responsibilities to the states and collapse the expanded departments that were created for same; Labor, Energy, and Education. Balance the budget and keep it that way.

Tim Neville - October 1, 2018

A balanced budget requirement annually except in circumstances of war and when approved by at least 2/3 of both houses.

Line item veto for the President.

No continuing resolutions – a fiscal year budget must be passed prior to the end of the fiscal year.

Immediate freeze on the size and dollar allocation to the federal government, all branches including staffs of Representatives and Senators, except for the military. Long term reduction of size, scope and dollar allocation to non-military cost of government.

Reduction of national debt with full payout over ten years. The interest cost is too much to bear.

Susan M - October 1, 2018

-Each Agency/Dept/Program budget should be presented and approved separately, and they must justify the need for the amount they are requesting. Otherwise, a mandatory 5% (to begin with) budget cut should be enacted.
-Line-item budget items should be presented for approval, not the gigantic monstrosities that omnibus pork budgets have morphed into.
-A TRUE one-cent (.01 cent) cut should be enacted for every dollar of a proposed budget request. And not the hokey-pokey false ‘cuts’ Congress slimes keep trying to convince us are cuts, but are really increases, but just not as much. They are experts at bait/switch/lies/deception, etc. DONT buy and pay for the hogwash theyre selling.
-Redundant and duplicate Agencies/Programs must be abolished.
-Government employees should NOT be allowed to be in a union (as we were cautioned by Franklin Delano Roosevelt), nor have guaranteed employment. They are to be considered civil servants, and their continued employment should be based on performance reviews to take place each year on their hire date anniversary, or more often, depending on their position. Employment is not usually guaranteed in the private sector, and it should NOT be guaranteed for people who are supposed to be working FOR the rest of us.
-Anyone who seeks government employment MUST sign a document stating that they will NOT show ANY political partisanship, if they are to be paid with our tax dollars. They must be fired IMMEDIATELY, if they are found to violate the agreement.
-Abolish ALL pet earmarks.
-Congress should not be able to vote themselves raises. Put it on America’s ballot to decide what they should be paid. And enact CONGRESSIONAL PAY CUTS AND TERM LIMITS!!
-Return MANY budget responsibilities back to the states, where they should be.
-Budget should be BALANCED, and Congressional pay should be STOPPED, unless/until a balanced budget is passed.
-Return ALL fiscal responsibility back to Congress. STOP Congressional abdication of their duties, and abolish pork Agencies and Programs.

These things would be a good start, but there is a TON more we regular Americans would like to see to make Congress and other 4th and 5th branches of government more accountable to us.

Susan M. - October 1, 2018

Also,
-Allow ONLY property or business owners to vote. They are the ones with an actual vested interest in the government’s financial process. However, encourage and educate all CITIZENS in how to move upward, and become property owners.
-Require that ALL government employees take an American History class, a class on our Founding documents, an American Civics class, and a basic accounting class (Not taught by any current liberal college instructor, but by someone at Heritage, or Mark Levin, or David Barton, or Dave Ramsey, etc.) That should give them a better foundation in which to make more informed budget and voting decisions that affect ALL of us.

Congress should NOT be a wealthy, powerful kingdom unto itself, at OUR expense. Our Founders intended that government service be just that. They felt that justifiable reimbursements for government duty expenses were okay, but that serving in government should NOT be a career choice. They should ‘keep their day job’, serve a term, and go home. They have become addicted to OUR money, and their power over our lives.

Boxley - October 1, 2018

Reform IRS. Defund Planned Parenthood. Reassess where every dollar is spent through USAID. So much money is going to organizations/countries where Geo. Soros has a controlling hand. So much money is allocated to organizations just because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’. What a waste! Have total welfare reform. Put people back to work and drug test. Bloated gov’t.

Albert stern - October 1, 2018

Bills tacked on to major bills should not have to be immediately voted with the major bill.

Robert Gianino - October 2, 2018

Multi-year budgeting – off election years only. Balanced budget amendment.

Julia Fromkin - October 2, 2018

It would be really a good thing if we had a budget. How long has it been since the Congress actually passed one? We keep having continuing resolutions to keep the government running. Let’s get to work and really make a budget and then stick to it!

Dee Hodges - October 2, 2018

The first thing to do is scratch the programs that no longer exist, but are still funded. Freeze number of employees gradually down as some leave or retire. Defund areas in Executive not authorized by Congress. Close the group created by Dodd Frank that is funded by the Fed and not overseen by Congress as not legal. It has destroyed some businesses. This is just tip of the iceberg, but as Finance MS and former banker, I am interested.

Arlis J Simmons - October 2, 2018

Pass amendment to constitution requiring balanced budget by given year
and thereafter. Require propositional reduction in budget each year until budget balanced year is reached..

Arlis J Simmons - October 2, 2018

Require that a detailed budget be on the President’s desk prior the beginning of the fiscal year. If not, all pay of congresspersons and senators is suspended until it is done. No continuing resolutions

Richard H. Schulze - October 2, 2018

My concern is health care – Medicaid, Medicare and the VA. Based on an informal survey, about 75% of our health care spending is related to life-style choices. We need to start to think about reducing the incentives for unhealthy living – some though legislation that allows risk-based underwriting and through a parallel program for government supplied health care.

Arthur Saliba - October 2, 2018

It is the Democrats that brought this plaque
on us. Do something with them.

William J Dove - October 3, 2018

Zero-Based Budgeting!!
Now, we use baseline budgeting, where the prior year’s budget becomes the “baseline” for the increase in an agency’s budget.
Under Zero-based budgeting, each and every item must be justified, or it gets assigned a budget of zero dollars.

Ralph - October 4, 2018

I believe we need to remove the Federal Reserve’ and have our Treasury print our own paper money.

Robert Smith - October 4, 2018

This is one step on the road to promoting good governance and a culture of accountability. We also need an effort to correct weaknesses in the accounting systems at the federal, state, and local levels that seem to allow inaccurate valuations of assets and liabilities while having less demanding reporting and disclosure requirements than those demanded of the private sector. Budgeting and accounting systems can have a major impact on the quality of reported numbers and our responses to them. Maybe its time for equal treatment of the public and private sectors in all things, but especially in financial management and accountability.

Charles Coleman - October 7, 2018

We need to pass amendment to balance federal budget every year and minimize to eliminate the national debt so that we are always financially stable except in times of war!

Lee Minton - January 15, 2019

I suggest Romina Boccia do a story on interest expense in the budget. I am certain that interest expense will be the trip wire that disables the Treasury Market. All you need to do is multiply $25 Trillion by 4%. compare that to personal income taxers collected. With Fed Funds at 3% bonds should be 5%. Game over.

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