Maya MacGuineas: Place Priority on Fiscal Responsibility

Apr 18, 2012 | Budgets & Projections

In an op-ed in The Roanoke Times, CRFB president Maya MacGuineas calls for policymakers and citizens to put fiscal responsibility at the forefront of the national debate this year, rather than waiting. She noted while conventional wisdom may say that nothing will get done this year, the state of our fiscal affairs says otherwise.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is working with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and other leaders who are convinced that the November elections provide a prime opportunity, not a hurdle, for forging public consensus on solutions to the challenges facing our country.

Furthermore, the expiring tax cuts, the looming debt ceiling increase and the arbitrary spending cuts mandated by last year's Budget Control Act represent a "fiscal cliff" that will almost certainly necessitate serious action before the year is out.

MacGuineas also said that not only should policymakers be active in creating a plan to reduce the deficit, but citizens should be as well. Their participation can make a big difference in getting a fiscal plan done.

After one of our Debt Tour events, I often am asked what everyday people can do to influence the debate. My answer is to 1: Thank those elected officials who have already committed themselves to the cause, and 2: Make sure that during the long months of campaigning to come, voters press anyone seeking their vote to explain exactly what he or she will do to fix America's finances and avoid saddling our children and grandchildren with a crippling debt burden.

I also encourage people to sign up to receive more information on our campaign by going to BeatTheDebt.org.

Despite all of the roadblocks and inertia that confront those seeking a common-ground solution on this issue, I am convinced that it can and will happen. But not without a groundswell of grass-roots support that lets politicians know that kicking the fiscal can down the road is no longer acceptable — and may be harmful to their political health.

Click here to read the full op-ed.

"My Views" are works published by members of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members of the committee.