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Budget Solution

As you know, or maybe not, the government is usually funded through 12 ‘omnibus’ spending bills passed by Congress and signed by the President. None of them passed last year (democrats fault) and none of them have passed this year (for this year, and this is both democrats and republicans fault) and while I am not entirely convinced that government shutdown would be the worst thing in the world, it does beg the question…

Is there a better way?

I think so. First off, instead of funding the government through a mere 12 bills , fund the beast through sending bills for each department. Not only would this clean up the budget process (at least for us little people) but it would ensure that only those parts of the leviathan for which funding can’t be agreed upon shut down.

For example:

Some pretty sizable cuts have been proposed and agreed to by both sides for the DoD. There, pass a bill funding solely the Department of Defense.

The post office is largely, self funded, so there is little to cut here, fund the post office and the national parks service. Not many cuts are being proposed in either place, so why hold them up with everything else?

The EPA. Oh dear the EPA. A behemoth in and of its self. Last years budget had it grow 34%! The Repubs want some heavy cuts here, it’s already grown too big for it’s leash and collar, a muzzle is what it really needs. Pass a bill funding just the EPA than, and if the Dems don’t like the cuts they can hold it up, the Prez can veto it, either way the EPA shuts down, but everything else where agreements can be had keep their doors open.

Again, I’m not sure that a government shutdown would be the worst thing in the world, it might be good. When the sun still comes up Saturday morning maybe some people will ask the question: What were they borrowing 4 billion a day to pay for? Everything is okay! Maybe we can do with a little less government.

Than again, maybe not, we need more like a month with only essential services running to show people they can still wipe their own asses (without government assistance) if they really twy weally weally haawd.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2011/04/08 at 00:43

    This would do little more than allow the Republicans to filibuster everything they dislike. Against some area? Want big cuts you can’t get? Just block voting for a couple of months.

  2. 2011/04/08 at 01:23

    You’re missing the point. If the goal is to have the government open, than this sort of “budgeteering” would do that, at least to an extent, minimize ‘harm’.

    And you are forgetting that it’s going to be the Dems in the minority next session in the senate, so perhaps it would work more your way, have government grow more every year than the economy, borrow 127% of our GDP like Greece and have a real tax rate like Denmark, 48% of every dollar earned. Should fix things in a jiffy.

    I can’t see why anyone would want to cram things together higgly piggledy any way. It makes perfect sense to pass each department individually.

  3. 2011/04/08 at 01:30

    Government wouldn’t grow so long as Republicans have more than 39 votes in the Senate. Well. Unless Reagan came back to life. In that case government might be wildly expanded.

    I think a better solution would be the line veto for the President.

  4. 2011/04/08 at 01:52

    I don’t think so, the president shouldn’t have a hand in legislating, why even bother to separate powers if the president can rewrite the bill when it comes to him?

    What I’m proposing would be similar in a sense, in that a disagreement over a certain portion of government spending could be vetoed without holding up the rest, but that is miles apart from a line item veto.

  5. 2011/04/08 at 08:29

    I actually like the idea of a line item, though the intent of the line item was so the President could cut and produce a balanced budget. In this case the President seems to want to use the veto to force Congress to spend more on certain things – not sure how that would work.

    The only issue I have with your proposal Nate (off the top of my head) is that I think if we broke up spending like this, then Congress my have little time to consider anything else. Of course, that might be a positive.

  6. 2011/04/08 at 09:43

    The president can use the regular veto to force a balanced budget, behold:

    “No. I’m not signing it unless its balanced.”

    My view is, if they can debate over Bill A to spend 500 billion, than they can spend just as much time on bills B and C together to spend 250 billion each. If they are spending more time on the two bills than it just shows there wasn’t enough debate on the one.

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