Republican Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota conservative who is emerging as a potential candidate for president in 2012, is pushing the idea of making the federal budget process biannual.
Speaking recently at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., Thune said that developing two-year budgets could remove the pressure on lawmakers to spend more during election years.
The core of Thune’s idea is this: instead of fighting every year to fashion a pork-laden budget at the last possible minute, a two-year budget would be crafted in odd-numbered, or non-election years.
In election years, lawmakers and the president would focus on ways to save money rather than spending it. This would create a mindset, Thune says, focused on efficient spending rather than a last-minute, “Christmas tree” approach of sending earmarks to districts.
“What inevitably happens is that there’s a big omnibus spending bill at the end of every year that becomes a big Christmas tree for everyone’s favorite spending priority or project,” Thune said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
“In even number years, election years, instead of spending more... we’d ask you how we could save money by doing oversight,” Thune said.
Thune explains his approach in the video below:
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