Spending Reform 27 January, 2010Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
How is freezing spending at artificially high levels fiscal conservatism? A freeze (on only 1/6 of the budget) would permanently lock in the baseline that increased with the stimulus bill and past budget. The ruling regime is slick, but the loony left is too dumb to know what they are doing so it may be defeated. The freeze would save 15 billion out of a 1.4 trillion deficit. The President increased the spending baseline 140 billion for these programs in the last year and 1. 5 trillion over the next 10 years. The freeze would take it back to to 1.25 trillion in increases over the next ten years. That is like spending 200 dollars eating out and then taking the toll free road home to save fifty cents.
How about tackling entitlement reform? Why are talking about everything but that? A Presidential and Congressional, bi-partisan commission there would pay dividends. We don’t need to give it extra constitutional powers. We, the people, just need to pay attention. Entitlements are the long run threat to the economy. Any plan which ignores that fact is just window dressing.
If you want real spending reform, change the rules. This is inside baseball, but it may be the way to win the game. Follow me on this. Mandate that all 13 spending bills be out of house committees by the 2nd week of July. Any bills that are not will be combined into a continuing resolution. The bills would then go before a committee of the whole one by one in the third week of July through the first week or two of August. The larger ones would be given up to 3 days and the smaller ones a half a day. Any member would be able to offer amendments to cut funds. If any member wants to increase spending in one area on the bill, they have to cut another area. Any spending increase would require a suspension of the rules which requires 290 votes.
The effect of this would be to allow the Ron Paul’s, blue dogs, and others not on the favored committees to offer amendments on the record and in the open. It would make every member own the budget. It would allow us to hold people accountable. The way the game works now is that the bills are put together in ways that no one outside of the favored crowd knows exactly what is in the bill. Both parties keep fiscal conservatives off of the appropriations committees in any numbers. They manipulate the rules to keep amendments to a minimum. If you want to truly change the system, open it up. Strip the lobbyists, power elite, and revolving door (between Congress and Special interest groups) staff of their power. Give it to the people we elected. Until we do that (either with this proposal or some other), we are just talking about reform.