The wikipedia entry for Jason E. Chaffetz, U.S. Representative from Utah, includes this interesting tidbit:
Chaffetz has pledged to vote against what he calls “trivial resolutions,” including those dealing with sports, such as congratulating the winning team of the Super Bowl. Chaffetz feels that the House could be taking up more important legislation.
You may wonder what type of resolutions Representative Chafetz would take up. Well, on January 21, 2015 he submitted H. RES. 41 which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce and, if only for the laundry list of real problems enumerated, I post stating with the first Whereas:
- Whereas the Federal Government is operating at an annual deficit and is increasing its outstanding debt every year;
- Whereas the Federal Government, as of January 2015, is carrying more than $18.0 trillion in debt, of which $13.0 trillion is owed to the public and $5.08 trillion is owed to Social Security and other trust funds;
- Whereas the Federal Government borrowed 14 cents for every dollar it spent in 2014;
- Whereas foreign governments, individuals, and corporations as of October 2014 own 47 percent of Federal debt held by the public;
- Whereas Social Security’s unfunded liabilities in 2014 are $10.6 trillion over 75 years and $24.9 trillion over the infinite horizon;
- Whereas the Federal debt held by the public is expected to increase by more than $7 trillion from 2014 to 2024 according to the Congressional Budget Office;
- Whereas State and local governments are heavily dependent on Federal revenues;
- Whereas more than 16 percent of the entire Federal budget goes directly to States and local governments;
- Whereas more than 22 percent of total State and local government general revenue comes from the Federal Government according to Census Bureau’s latest Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finance;
- Whereas numerous State and local government employee pension plans have offered overly generous retirement benefits to its employees and are in dire financial situations with combined unfunded liabilities of more than $4 trillion;
- Whereas many State and local government pension plans have understated liabilities and overstated asset growth rates and have employed methodologies that private sector plans are prohibited from using by Federal law; and
- Whereas several State and local pension plans are expected to fully exhaust their funds within ten years.
Now, therefore, be it resolved that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—
- the Federal Government should not bailout State and local government employee pension plans and other post-employment benefit plans; and
- State and local governments should immediately institute reforms to their employee pension plans, including replacing defined benefit plans with defined contribution plans.