Today, Center for American Progress President and CEO John Podesta is testifying before the Senate Budget Committee Task Force on Government Performance, praising the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010. Moving toward a balanced budget does, among other things, require cuts. But which ones? And is that enough?
We should immediately cut programs and efforts that are ineffective, redundant, or low priorities. And we should support efforts that are working well, that boost American competitiveness and create jobs, and help us reach our goals on critical priorities such as education, health care, and energy.
This is not just rhetoric for us. The Center for American Progress has put forward a plan to bring the federal budget into “primary balance” by 2015, which includes nearly $130 billion in spending cuts. We are also pleased that President Obama is undertaking an effort to consolidate related federal agencies to strengthen American competitiveness, something CAP recommended in a December report. Similarly, the Government Accountability Office recently released a report on duplicative federal programs that identified opportunities for consolidation. These echo a number of similar recommendations we have made in recent months.
Improving government performance is not always about cutting budgets, of course. It’s about getting better results for the public. For example, like the GAO, we have recommended combining and streamlining the confusing array of federal nutrition assistance programs. The goal here should not be to reduce the deficit by taking food away from hungry people, but to redirect the savings into a more effective way to serve needy families. At a time when unemployment is just under 9 percent and millions more Americans are living in poverty, we must squeeze every ounce of benefit from the limited money we invest in helping our neediest fellow citizens.
Read Podesta's full remarks on how the GPRA Modernization Act will not just provide cuts, but also improve the government's overall performance and boost American competitiveness.