Perhaps most notably, determined efforts to reduce budget deficits over the long run--such as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
Act and the Budget Control Act of 2011--dissipate in fairly short order.
Despite the failure of both versions of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
, these efforts paved the way for later reforms that have been more enduring.
Consider, briefly, Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
. The drafting stage in Congress established rules, procedures, and deficit targets.
and the Politics of Deficit Reduction.
This finding implies that the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
(GRH) Act of 1986 addressed the issue in a timely manner.
Segal also noted that the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
legislative fiasco, which had been touted by Gramm as a way to force members of Congress to cut spending, had, among its many failures, a particularly notable one: A study done over an eighteen-month period by the National Taxpayers Union found that--with only three exceptions--all 535 "members of both houses had sponsored at least one bill to cut spending:" That's right, only three exceptions.
This was the result not only of economic growth, but of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
budget-control act, which at least slowed the pace of Congress' spending spree, the real cause of the deficit.
As was the case with Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
(which required across-the-board spending cuts if a deficit target was exceeded), significant exemptions are envisioned by most advocates.
Previous efforts to address the nation's growing debt include The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
Agreement and the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990.
The Act, while not having deficit targets of the sort found in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
laws, puts upper limits on discretionary expenditures and constraints on how taxes and mandatory expenditure programmes can be changed.
The new budget procedures make it easier than under the previous Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
procedures for fiscal policy to have a stabilizing effect on the economy.
Schultze, for instance, believes that removing social security from the budget would discourage Congress from using its surpluses to fund other programs, whereas Rudolph Penner argues that including it in the budget rewards Congress for tading off trust fund expenditures against other expenditures in its effort to hit Gramm-Rudman-Hollings