U.S. Gary Palmer this week updated Business Council of Alabama members about his efforts on federal spending and taxes, executive branch regulatory activity, and Social Security solvency.
Rep. Palmer, R-Hoover, was elected in 2014 on a platform of working to reduce the number of federal regulations that stymy business growth, reforming the appropriations process, encouraging domestic energy production, and identifying affordable health care options, among other issues.
Rep. Palmer serves on the House Committee on the Budget, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and Subcommittee on Interior, Subcommittee on Research and Technology, and Subcommittee on Environment.
In a Monday telephone conference call with BCA members, Rep. Palmer urged government spending control. Washington hasn’t had a clear appropriations process since 2008, “which makes it very difficult to reduce government spending,” he said.
Rep. Palmer said that all unappropriated revenue should go to the U.S. Treasury and back under congressional oversight. “Last year there was $516 billion in unappropriated revenues that were off the books,” he said.
Rep. Palmer also said that regulations cost business and taxpayers $200 billion. Reducing regulations by just 20 percent would put that money into the economy every year, he said. In addition, the Government Accounting Office estimated that the IRS failed to collect $430 billion in taxes last year, he said, and there were $130 billion in improper federal payments.
“If we don’t get this under control, by 2030 our debt will be one and a half times larger than the entire economy,” Rep. Palmer said. “We can get there and I’m confident we can get there if we do some sensible things.”
He said the Republican House plan will help make U.S. companies competitive partly by reducing the corporate income tax rate – currently the highest in the developed world – to 20 percent, reducing the capital gains tax, and simplifying personal income tax reporting.
It’s important to talk about how to how “we get people back to work and make the economy go again,” Rep. Palmer said.
Addressing Social Security, Rep. Palmer said there are options being discussed for long-term solvency.
He said payments into the system should stay there in order to “clean that up so the money will be there.” “We’re going to have to reform Social Security and keep our promise to people in the foreseeable future that they will continue to get it,” he said.
Rep. Palmer said the outcome of the presidential election is the key to what the House will be able to accomplish.
Rep. Palmer said his top priorities are passing tax reform to get the economy growing again, restore congressional oversight of agencies, rein in the executive branch and its agencies that are ruling by regulation and funding programs that are not approved of.