Budget Watch

Issue #30 * February 21, 1997 * David A. Ridenour and Karen Kerrigan, Editors

A newsletter covering budget reform and the latest news and views on the federal budget, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 20 F Street NW, Suite 700 , Washington, D.C. 20001, (202) 507-6398, Fax (301) 498-1301, E-mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org and the Small Business Survival Foundation, 1320 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202)785-0238, Fax (202)822-8118, Web http://www.sbsc.org.

Hill Watch -
Update on Budgetary Issues on Capitol Hill

Elderly Have Nothing to Lose With Balanced Budget Amendment
and Everything to Gain, Bi-Partisan Group Says

Even without a special exemption, the Social Security Trust Fund would be unaffected by the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA), according to the Concord Coalition, a bi-partisan grassroots organization established by former U.S. Senator Warren Rudman (R-NH) and the late Senator Paul Tsongas (D-MA) to fight for a balanced budget. The reason? The Social Security Trust Fund is already being raided to fund other government programs. "The BBA would in no way alter the status of the Social Security trust funds. After enactment of the BBA, the Treasury IOUs held in the trust funds would be precisely as meaningless as they are today. With or without the BBA, these 'assets' can only be redeemed if Congress hikes taxes, cuts other spending or borrows more from the public to raise cash. The BBA, by requiring that the unified budget be in balance in every future year would simply curtail the borrowing option, says the Concord Coalition in a February 18 Facing Facts Alert. Enactment of the BBA may in fact have a very positive impact on Social Security because it would force the nation to address projected future Social Security fund imbalances while it is still possible. According to the Concord Coalition, Social Security will be running a deficit of $315 billion in the year 2025 and $2.1 trillion by 2040. For more information, contact the Concord Coalition by calling 202/467-6222 or E-mailing [email protected].

Polls Find Wide Support for Balanced Budget

Two recent polls, one conducted by the Small Business Survival Committee and another by the American Small Businesses Association, found wide-spread support for balancing the federal budget. A post election survey conducted by the Small Business Survival Committee by the Polling Company found strong support for balancing the budget not only among small business owners, but among union members. Asked what issues should be a top priority for the 105th Congress, 28% of union members and 29% of small business owners identified cutting government spending and balancing the budget as a top priority; 28% of union members and 29% of small business owners chose improving education; and 18% of union members and 13% of small business owners identified fighting drugs and crime as a top priority. A survey by American Small Businesses Association (ASBA) of its membership yielded similar results. Thirty-nine percent of ASBA members answering a survey identified balancing the federal budget as one of their top three concerns while 35% identified downsizing government as one of their top concerns. For more information, contact the Small Business Survival Committee at 202/785-0238 or the American Small Businesses Association at 800/888-6081.

Administration Watch -- Where the Clinton Administration
Stands on Budget Issues

Is the Era of Big Government Back?

If President Clinton's Fiscal Year 1998 budget proposal is any indication, the era of big government is back, according to The Heritage Foundation in a just released "Talking Points" paper. Among Heritage's key findings:


For more information, contact Dan Mitchell of The Heritage Foundation at 202/546-4400.

Nothing written here should be construed as an attempt to help or hinder legislation before the U.S. Congress. Reprints of material in Budget Watch is permitted provided that original source is credited. ###