The USA Act will save taxpayers money
Washington, DC, September 11, 2014 | By former Reps. Tim Penny (D-Minn.) and Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) |
Stop-gap solutions, continuing resolutions and government shutdowns are too quickly becoming a habit in Washington as lawmakers face fiscal crises and increasingly tight budgets. As Congress heads back to work this week, they are faced with a stack of appropriations bills to deal with before the end of the session. As Congress looks for ways to move (and pay for) these bills, it is critical that lawmakers start by acting upon countless federal budget savings opportunities sitting on the table.
The USA Act (H.R. 5196), introduced last month by Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), includes a number of common sense savings solutions, packaged from Government Accountability Office report recommendations, that will save taxpayers nearly $200 billion over 10 years without raising taxes or cutting programs.
It may be hard to believe, but these seemingly small programs are costing taxpayers billions. By tackling inefficiencies, the bipartisan USA Act will reduce the deficit while also streamlining unnecessarily complex government programs. By simply eliminating duplicative programs and overlap, this long-overdue legislation will make government run more efficiently for taxpayers and save money over the long-run.
The USA Act includes straightforward provisions that take steps to enhance online services, cut down on printing costs and increase the government’s ability to detect fraud, resulting in billions in savings. Each of these provisions are small, non-controversial changes that save money that could be used for programs needed by taxpayers. They save money without stirring up issues across aisles or between chambers.
The legislation also includes a provision for much-needed currency modernization that would bring our nation on par with every other industrialized country in the world by moving from a dollar note to a dollar coin. Currency modernization alone has been estimated to save our country as much as $13.8 billion dollars.
The GAO has detailed the savings benefits of the dollar coin in not just one, but ten reports over the past 24 years. The coin, like many of the provisions detailed in the USA Act and GAO reports, is a better use of resources, generates savings and already has taxpayer support.
Now is the time to move forward, and to take advantage of the non-controversial savings provisions within the USA Act, including those offered by currency modernization – it’s something both sides can agree on. The dollar note is one of many inefficiencies costing us more money than we can afford to lose.
It makes no sense for taxpayers to live on the edge of precarious budget shortfalls when a variety of common sense funding solutions are here for the taking. The government needs to get serious about addressing our debt and generating funds for programs we desperately need.
The American people deserve to see Congress take advantage of common sense available savings, and the USA Act is the place for our lawmakers to start making changes.
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