The Heritage Foundation’s Brian M. Riedl and Alison Acosta Fraser offer advice to President-elect Obama regarding how he can keep his promise to issue a "net spending cut." The authors point out that most incoming presidents promise to do so, yet fail when it comes time to make tough choices. They write:
The American people have repeatedly expressed exasperation at the pork, runaway spending, and budget deficits that have plagued Washington during this decade. You were elected President on the promise of fiscal responsibility and a "net spending cut." Scaling back planned "stimulus" spending that would likely fail to help the economy would be a strong first step toward fulfilling your promise. Reforming Social Security and Medicare before more of the 77 million baby boomers begin to collect benefits is also imperative.
The writers also offer some key tips (they’re in bullet points so you know they mean business). Here are a few:
- Define "net spending cut"
- Cut farm subsidies
- Reform entitlement programs
- Devolve more programs to state and local governments
- Use PAYGO to prevent expensive new entitlements