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Key Vote

    Key Vote YES on Baseline Reform Act

    02/02/2012

    Dear FreedomWorks member,

    As one of our million-plus FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote YES on H.R. 3578, the Baseline Reform Act. Introduced by Rep. Woodall (R-GA), the bill would reform the way that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculates the baseline spending assumptions that are the basis for all of its projections of future spending. The legislation would remove the assumption from CBO calculations that spending will increase each year in proportion to inflation, which makes Congress’ new spending each year look like less than it is. The Baseline Reform Act would make the federal budget process more honest and transparent. 

    The American people are tired of the accounting gimmicks in the budgetary process. The current process starts by assuming a spending baseline of prior year spending plus inflation. This enables Congress to cut into the inflation adjustment and call it a “spending cut” even though actual discretionary spending levels will rise. Washington can spend $500 billion this year and $550 billion next year and call that a “spending cut” by using manipulative budgetary tricks. These dishonest tactics disguise the true cost of government programs. 

    The Baseline Reform Act would amend the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to eliminate the automatic inflation adjustment in the CBO’s annual baseline. Proposed budgets would then be compared to prior year spending levels. This would make spending increases and decreases more transparent to the American people. The Baseline Reform Act would help to put an end to budgetary gimmicks to give the American public a more honest look at how much Congress spends annually. 

    I urge you to call your representative and ask him or her to vote YES on H.R. 3578, the Baseline Reform Act. We will count their vote as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2012. The Economic Freedom Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes members of Congress with voting records that support economic freedom. 

    Sincerely,

    Matt Kibbe                                                                                                                                           President and CEO                                                                                                          FreedomWorks                                                                                                                                [Click here for a PDF version of this key vote notice.]