The $400 billion spending deal President Trump signed last month included language creating a special congressional committee devoted to reforming the budget and appropriations process. But renowned fiscal policy expert Stan Collender is deeply skeptical about the whether the committee can accomplish much by way of serious reforms. Writing at Forbes Monday, Collender warns:
"As with all of the other nonsensical federal budget commissions, committees and super committees that over the years have crashed and burned (Full disclosure: I was a member of one of them), this latest effort is magically expected to solve our deficit and debt woes and to absolve Congress of its fiscal sins. This new committee of highly partisan politicians is somehow expected to rise above the current intractable partisan politics that are the major reason the federal budget debate is in such a shambles.
"This new select committee on the budget isn't just utter nonsense, it's an insult to our intelligence. We're being told not to look at the big deficit hikes that were just enacted but to pay attention instead to yet another attempt to prevent it from happening again."
The basic problem, Collender says, is that the current system works perfectly well for the current political leadership. And in the end, it’s not the process that’s the problem – it’s that both lawmakers and voters love what government provides, but hate to pay for it.