The Texas Public Policy Foundation released its Responsible American Budget today, a bold proposal for the federal government that would help limit the out-of-control spending that has been the norm in Washington. The proposal follows the work of the Foundation’s highly successful Conservative Texas Budget, which sets a maximum budget threshold based on the proven metric of population growth plus inflation. This means spending would grow less than the average taxpayer’s ability to pay for it.

“High taxes and deficits are always and everywhere a government spending phenomenon. The excessive spending in Washington is crowding out opportunities for Americans to flourish and mortgaging our future if something isn’t done soon to curb it. While the optimal outcome would be a new law that limits federal spending based on population growth plus inflation, there may not be the political will to do so in the immediate future,” said the Foundation’s Chief Economist Dr. Vance Ginn. “However, the Responsible American Budget provides Americans a tangible goal for limiting spending and strengthens their voice in the budget process.”

As federal spending and deficits continues to grow, taxpayers must take on more and more of that burden through higher inflation, higher interest rates, and higher taxes each year to offset the increases. By helping provide fiscal sanity in Washington to avoid these crowding out effects of the burden of excessive government spending, the Responsible American Budget will set the stage for America to correct the bloated budget and national debt.

Dr. Ginn continued: “Armed with the same approach that has been helpful to the success of limiting spending in Texas and other states through the Foundation’s Conservative Texas Budget approach, Congress can provide fiscal sanity in D.C. with the guidance of the Responsible American Budget to allow Americans more opportunities to flourish.”

Key Points

  • Federal government spending is reducing Americans’ prosperity.
  • Many countries and states have used sound fiscal rules to effectively restrain spending to better match taxpayers’ ability to pay for it.
  • The benefits of a fiscal rule are many and should be addressed in America, before additional costs to our future.
  • The time is now for the maximum budget threshold called the Responsible American Budget that limits total appropriations to less than population growth plus inflation, based on proven efforts in states.
  • By implementing and maintaining the Responsible American Budget, whether in law or by stakeholder pressure, America would be poised to provide more opportunities to let people prosper.

View the full paper here:

Vance Ginn, Ph.D., is chief economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He earned his doctorate in economics at Texas Tech University and has an accomplished career as a policy director and university lecturer with experience in public policy, academia, and government. From 2019 to 2020, Dr. Ginn served as the Associate Director for Economic Policy of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) at the Executive Office of the President during the Trump administration.