SALT LAKE CITY — In news conference conducted Tuesday at the Utah State Capitol by Financial Ready Utah, a non-profit organization led by the Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants, seven bills were introduced that could decrease government waste.
The package of seven bills come in response to the federal government's increasing lack of fiscal responsibility. According to the most recent report of the Government Accountability Office and the Comptroller General of the United States, "The comprehensive long-term fiscal projections show that — absent policy changes — the federal government continues to face an unsustainable fiscal path."
During the fiscal year 2010, 45.3 percent of Utah's spending was comprised of federal funds, and according to Sen. Deidre Henderson "40 percent of federal funds come from borrowed money." Henderson continued, "It's a crushing situation."
Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, said that these warning signs have "been like watching a wildfire coming up over a hill. So far things are pretty normal, but the burning branches are already starting to drop in our house."
He continued, "We'll wake up one morning and see massive cuts. Instantly, we'll have to try to figure what to do with all those things, and it will be done recklessly, and it won't be as effective or efficient or sustainable as if we have those discussions right now."
But Utah is anxious to lower that percentage based on the potentially unreliable federal funds. A recent op-ed in the Deseret News by Sen. Wayne Niederhauser, Rep. Rebecca Lockhart, Utah State Treasurer Richard Ellis and Utah State Auditor John Dougall encouraged all Utahns to put their fiscal lives in order:
"Together, we issue a plea for fiscal responsibility in an era of federal irresponsibility. We call on individuals and business and civic leaders to join us in preparing our families, businesses and communities to lead out as a model to the nation dealing with what has been called the most predictable economic crisis in history."