I understand the frustration felt by the American people over the failure of elected officials to control spending and reduce the deficit. At a time when the national debt is exceeding $5 trillion and the annual budget deficit remains at unacceptably high levels, we must take swift, genuine action to put an end to Washington's profligate, wasteful ways. Wasteful spending and deficit growth, if allowed to grow unchecked, will permanently damage our economy and our children's hope for a better future.
I believe the best way to reform the budget process is to: eliminate outmoded programs and programs with a long history of failure; eliminate programs that fall outside the jurisdiction of the federal government and that benefit purely local or commercial interests (such as so-called "pork barrel spending"); eliminate or consolidate duplicative programs; privatize programs; enact genuine line-item veto power for the President; and eliminate the federal government's role in programs more appropriately handled (and funded) by the states. These efforts will surely help us to get Washington's fiscal house in order. While the 104th Congress has moved forward with common-sense legislation to achieve these objectives, President Clinton has vetoed our initiatives and continues to resist our efforts to achieve a balanced budget.
Regardless, the 104th Congress has had unprecedented success in reducing and eliminating unneeded federal programs, spending and bureaucracy. Our record of achievement includes:
Eliminating 270 programs, offices, agencies, and projects;
For the first time since 1969, reducing discretionary spending from the previous year;
Reducing the number of bureaucrats in 29 of 39 major government offices;
Cutting the deficit to the lowest level in 14 years;
Voting to privatize four major government programs, saving taxpayers billions of dollars;
While much, much more can and must be done to cut federal waste and mismanagement and control spiraling entitlement spending, we in the 104th Congress are answering your call for less government.
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