The bill Frank Luntz calls “legislative perfection”

posted at 7:50 pm on November 2, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Perhaps no form of out-of-control government spending is more exasperating than the money the federal government pretends it doesn’t spend. Since 2005, accounting tricks and budget gimmicks have enabled more than $350 billion in additional deficit spending. That’s why, about a month ago, Sen. Jeff Sessions and Sen. Olympia Snowe introduced the Honest Budget Act to eliminate the nine most common deceptive budgeting practices Washington routinely employs. You might remember me writing about it.

It’s a sound piece of legislation — one that would restore somewhat the American people’s confidence in their legislators, one that would actually save money. Little by little, it’s acquired significant support in the Senate: The number of co-sponsors is up to 11, with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) signing on today. But, now, GOP senators have another reason to support the bill: It’s extremely popular with voters.

Last night on “Your World with Cavuto,” Republican pollster Frank Luntz described it as “legislative perfection” and reported that the bill polled better than anything he’s tested all year. The Cavuto clip is illuminating, as the scenes from Luntz’ focus group reveal just how committed voters are to the concept of honesty in budgeting — even when they despair of its possibility. They want legislators to at least try to restore integrity to the budgeting process.

This is a no-brainer: Does any politician actually want to stand up and defend dishonest accounting?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

This and term limits a small step in the right direction.

dragondrop on November 2, 2011 at 7:58 PM

So the tards will block it in the Senate. Which means for now it’s just another tool for Repubs to use to retake the Senate. Nothing is going to change for another year, so let’s git er done!

2ipa on November 2, 2011 at 8:03 PM

The problem is that once Washington passes it, it will work full time to find ways around it. Pay Go anyone?

Cindy Munford on November 2, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Why am I suspicious? Oh ya, the name Olympia Snowe.

boomer on November 2, 2011 at 8:04 PM

This and term limits a small step in the right direction.
dragondrop on November 2, 2011 at 7:58 PM

If we had term limits people like Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions wouldn’t be in the positions they are in. They have the talent and the expertise for the job positions they are in. Why force them to leave those jobs and learn another? They are better left where they can do the most good.

jawkneemusic on November 2, 2011 at 8:07 PM

This is a no-brainer: Does any politician actually want to stand up and defend dishonest accounting?

Given “Washington Speak”, I’m sure some will find a way. Somewhere George Orwell will be laughing his ass off.

GarandFan on November 2, 2011 at 8:09 PM

This is a no-brainer: Does any politician actually want to stand up and defend dishonest accounting?

Somehow the leftists will spin it to be…
1) Racist
2) Attack on the middle class
3) Favors the “1%”
4) Is instead the ‘Dishonest Budget Act’
5) Only a political stunt about “defeating Obama”

… and on and on.

knob on November 2, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I’ve got another idea, and I’d like to see this poll tested; I’d like a bill that would prevent Congress from exempting themselves, or the Executive or Judicial branches, from the legislation they create. Currently, they are exempt from ADA, Equal Opportunity (hiring discrimination) legislation, and, most eggregiously, Obamacare.

massrighty on November 2, 2011 at 8:10 PM

You can always tell when one of the RINO back-stabbers is up for re-election. Really, Mrs. Snowe? You’re the one who let Obamacare, which is nothing but an accounting trick, out of the bottle vis a vis your vote in committee.

SouthernGent on November 2, 2011 at 8:21 PM

massrighty on November 2, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I’m with ya’.
But that will be more difficult to get passed by this bunch
in the Senate and White House, than the Honest Budget Act the House Repubs are introducing.

listens2glenn on November 2, 2011 at 8:24 PM

You pay $100 a month for a car. You decide you need a new car and calculate you can pay as much as $110 a month. You find a new car, but your new payment is only $105 a month.

To you and me, that’s a $5 increase in your payment. In Washington and every place else that politicians exist that’s a $5 cut.

The Constitution should be amended to outlaw the latter.

InterestedObserver on November 2, 2011 at 8:24 PM

This is a no-brainer: Does any politician actually want to stand up and defend dishonest accounting?

Yes. Harry Reid. Chuck Shumer. Dick Durban. Etc.

azkag on November 2, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Frank Luntz and those focus groups are one of the stupidest things to come out of the last presidential cycle.

Rainsford on November 2, 2011 at 8:31 PM

jawkneemusic on November 2, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Term limits lead to novice, unprofessional legislatures who wind up polling worse than non-term limited statehouses.

ernesto on November 2, 2011 at 8:31 PM

I’ve got another idea, and I’d like to see this poll tested; I’d like a bill that would prevent Congress from exempting themselves, or the Executive or Judicial branches, from the legislation they create. Currently, they are exempt from ADA, Equal Opportunity (hiring discrimination) legislation, and, most eggregiously, Obamacare.

massrighty on November 2, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I believe they are also exempt from insider trading perils, too. How do you think they all get so rich on about $150K per year in office?

karenhasfreedom on November 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM

This and term limits a small step in the right direction.
dragondrop on November 2, 2011 at 7:58 PM

We have a system of term limits. It’s called the ballot box. Unfortunately, we have a terribly uninformed voting public. I still say that one should have to pass a basic civics test to vote, and if you are on the GovTeat, you cannot vote.

predator on November 2, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Term limits lead to novice, unprofessional legislatures who wind up polling worse than non-term limited statehouses.

ernesto on November 2, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Correct, this is how CA spiraled out of control. The voters approved term limits to break the clutches if Willie Brown on the state Legislature. That was back in the late 80′s or early 90′s. Ever since, the state has been run by the lobbyists, since people elected into office have no idea what to do once they get there.

karenhasfreedom on November 2, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Somehow the leftists will spin it to be…
1) Racist
2) Attack on the middle class
3) Favors the “1%”
4) Is instead the ‘Dishonest Budget Act’
5) Only a political stunt about “defeating Obama”

… and on and on.

knob on November 2, 2011 at 8:10 PM

6. Hurts children, seniors and dogs.
7. Takes cops off the streets resulting in rapes.

kringeesmom on November 2, 2011 at 8:57 PM

If we had term limits people like Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions wouldn’t be in the positions they are in. They have the talent and the expertise for the job positions they are in. Why force them to leave those jobs and learn another? They are better left where they can do the most good.

jawkneemusic on November 2, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Except that for every Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions, there are three Maxine Waters, Chuck Shumers, or Robert Byrds.

As much as I like term limits, I don’t see them happening. I have higher hopes for expanding the House and repealing the 17th amendment.

Kafir on November 2, 2011 at 9:01 PM

It has as big a chance of survival as a baby sparrow that fell out of the nest and landed in front of a honey badger.

NeoKong on November 2, 2011 at 9:03 PM

I think it would be great to build a little honesty into the federal budget process. Of course it would be a lot more helpful if they actually passed a budget.

Stephen Macklin on November 2, 2011 at 9:28 PM

The problem is that once Washington passes it, it will work full time to find ways around it. Pay Go anyone?

Cindy Munford on November 2, 2011 at 8:03 PM

BINGO

angryed on November 2, 2011 at 9:49 PM

All the Republican candidates should support this right now.

hepcat on November 2, 2011 at 10:26 PM

If Governor Palin does run then it will be the smartest move in the world. She avoided all the candidate crossfire, months of media assassination attempts and will be fresh for the fight. She is still my preference. I went to Bachmann when she said that she was not running but I will go back to her if she does. That Bachmann has not done better has dismayed me.

scrubjay on November 2, 2011 at 10:31 PM

opps! wrong thread.

scrubjay on November 2, 2011 at 10:49 PM

This and term limits a small step in the right direction.

dragondrop on November 2, 2011 at 7:58 PM

There is and has been in place the most natural form of term limits since the beginning of our republic: voting.

anuts on November 2, 2011 at 11:06 PM

But, but, how will these Congress critters get re-elected if they don’t bring home the bacon?/

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 3, 2011 at 12:24 AM

Every time the subject of term limits come up, you here the same stuff about already having term limits via the ballot box? I use to think that too, but it’s not working. Just go anywhere in the country, any district and ask people what they think of Congress? The answer is always: Those #&%$!(*&. Now ask the same person, what do you think of YOUR Congressman. Oh he’s good people, if we had more like him we would be in great shape. We are screwed if we don’t come up with some way to stop the Franks, Pelosi’s, etc.

And let’s not forget our side. If we end up with the WH, House and Senate, but led by Rommy, Bohner and McConnell, we will continue down that road to Grease, but at a slightly slower pace.

Alabama Infidel on November 3, 2011 at 12:34 AM

This is a no-brainer: Does any politician actually want to stand up and defend dishonest accounting?

Term limits lead to novice, unprofessional legislatures who wind up polling worse than non-term limited statehouses.

ernesto on November 2, 2011 at 8:31 PM

I wouldn’t say “support.” You are talking about leftist garbage, so ashamed of their very existence they’d never come out and actually support anything they believe in. Wading through all the ad hominems, it would appear to me we’ve found some actual support for the status quo.

MNHawk on November 3, 2011 at 6:33 AM

If we had term limits people like Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions wouldn’t be in the positions they are in.

The odd Paul Ryan or Jeff Sessions aren’t enough to offset the damage done to the republic by self-serving careerist cretins on both sides of the aisle. I’d rather be ruled by citizens who come to Washington to serve than by entrenched kleptocrats whose only concern is the furtherance of them.

Besides, Paul Ryan is where he is because he’s a guy willing to sweat the details of budgets and entitlement spending. That would be the case with or without term limits.

SAMinVA on November 3, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Why can’t we have Republican debates that deal with subjects like this rather than the garbage those liberals throw at them?

Herb on November 3, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Why can’t we have Republican debates that deal with subjects like this rather than the garbage those liberals throw at them?

Herb on November 3, 2011 at 9:43 AM

I believe you just answered your own question there.

44Magnum on November 3, 2011 at 10:17 AM

“This and term limits a small step in the right direction.”

Term limits don’t actually fix anything. The actual problem is legislative seniority, and the power and perks attached to it. Let’s start by modifying the rules to state that committee appointments cannot be held by the same person more than twice in a row. Nor can anyone chair a committee who has been in office for more than three consecutive terms.

Basically, I want serving as in congress to be an all-consuming and tedious job that very few would want to endure for more than a few years. Unrelenting, exhausting work.

GalosGann on November 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

If we had term limits people like Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions wouldn’t be in the positions they are in. They have the talent and the expertise for the job positions they are in. Why force them to leave those jobs and learn another? They are better left where they can do the most good.

jawkneemusic on November 2, 2011 at 8:07 PM

I’d rather strip away the motivation for self-enrichment and power than use term limits. Less money for them to control is the best solution.

disa on November 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Mommy – what’s a budget?

in_awe on November 3, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Babs Boxer would defend against it. Her name is almost perfectly yclept. She is as dumb as a box of rocks.

Webrider on November 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM