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If you are frustrated by how expensive life is, you have every reason to be so. Life is more expensive than it was four years ago, and Washington is to blame.

Since the start of 2021, Washington has spent at least $5.5 Trillion extra – on top of “normal” federal spending – putting more money into the economy than it can handle and making your dollars worth less.

The result? Prices are up almost 20% since January 2021, and the average American household is spending about $12,500 more every year to keep the same quality of life as before.

Runaway spending hurts Americans.

To make life more affordable for all Americans, we need to control Washington’s overspending. Luckily, there is a simple solution to put our country’s finances back in order: a comprehensive congressional budget.

It may surprise you, but Congress has never done a true budget.

Every year, Congress debates 12 separate spending bills (“appropriations”) to fund the federal government. However, these 12 bills do not cover all federal spending; they only include 26% of this year’s spending. The other 73% of government spending, called “mandatory spending” or “direct spending,” is not even discussed in Congress in a regular, holistic way.

Moreover, none of these appropriations bills touch revenue: how Washington raises funds to pay for all the spending.

Due to this broken process, legislators do not have the incentives, information, or tools to manage the budget effectively, making it too easy for Washington to overlook the consequences of overspending and making life more expensive for all Americans.  

A comprehensive congressional budget bill would simplify this process and reduce government spending by:

  • Including all government spending and revenue into a single annual budget bill, giving Congress the means and motivation to weigh their options and reduce waste.
  • Use the knowledge of congressional committees by including them in the budget process.
  • Give Congress a complete picture of the scope of government spending and revenue policies, help them set priorities, and budget more responsibly.

A comprehensive congressional budget would be an important first step toward more efficient budgeting. A single budget bill would give Members of Congress the full fiscal picture of the federal government, give them a mechanism to spend wisely, and make your life more affordable.

Americans are paying dearly for Washington’s spending frenzy and fiscal irresponsibility. It’s time for Congress to get their house in order. It’s time for them to get a real budget.

You can do something about it – AFP celebrated the introduction of the bipartisan Comprehensive Congressional Budget Act of 2024. Sign the pledge to show your support for responsible spending reform to create an economy that prioritizes individual empowerment and unparalleled prosperity.