Announcing the Introduction of a Bill to Create the SAFE Commission

GAO-07-1271CG: Published: Sep 26, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2007.

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This speech was given by the Comptroller General before a press conference on September 26, 2007. At the present time, Congress is debating whether to raise the debt limit for a fifth time during the past 5 years. While debate on this issue is understandable and appropriate, it's time that we started treating the disease rather than merely debating the symptoms. This country has been diagnosed with fiscal cancer. This cancer can be cured with tough choices, but it will get worse over time if our elected officials fail to act. This fiscal cancer has been facilitated by widespread myopia, tunnel vision, and self-centeredness. It is manifested in large operating deficits and growing long-range fiscal imbalances. It is perpetuated by a lack of meaningful statutory budget controls, a very large and growing percentage of the budget that is on autopilot, a failure to pursue performance-based approaches to major spending programs and the tax preferences, and a variety of other current practices.

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