Sadly today the constitutional process has been weakened by an overzealous and ideological President who has decided to take the law into his own hands and go it alone whenever he desires. And while the Congress in both houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, bemoan and wail about his actions, they at the same time choose to support what he is doing by their cowardice and unwillingness to take strong action. In no such area is it seen more clearly than the Federal Budget.
How about this? Change the way Congress is paid to a base salary plus commission. That's right, give them a small stipend and then make the remainder of their pay a commission for accomplishing what they say the will do. And nothing would be more important to jump start the program than a balanced budget. While a balanced budget amendment would be nice, let's face it, Congress is just as bad as the President for tripping around the edges of what they are committed by the Constitution to do. But if their money was tied to it, voila, they'd jump to it so fast it would make your head swim. All it would require is a set of firm goals for the budget for the next session, goals which the voters played a part in developing through input, as a basis for what the leadership put into the budget which would be required to be balanced (i.e., it could not exceed tax revenue).
The rules could be quite easy. Give them two years to get to a balanced budget in place and then force them to have an annual budget prepared and in place no later than the last day of the prior fiscal year for the year ahead. Now I know this would be difficult, but that's what we send them to Washington to do: solve difficult problems. And if they accomplished it using zero based not baseline budgeting they would be worthy of a nice commission. We would just have to hold them to it year after year. Gee whiz, it would be worth giving them a nice raise if they could do it.
And, of course, as time went on other ambitious projects could be added to the list and this would insure that Congress was working for what they should do not what they wanted to do. I'll bet many wouldn't want to spend their career in Washington under such a concept which would have the advantage of bringing in fresh new blood with new ideas regularly.
Think about the problem we have today. The nation is over eighteen trillion dollars in debt and has unfunded liabilities of somewhere in the neighborhood of one hundred twenty trillion dollars. Instead of grappling with this Congress just talks and talks, goes on junket after junket and works ever shorter workweeks. Madness is alive and well in Washington, D.C.
Look, folks, I get it that my idea is nothing more than a pipe dream, maybe its even a little bit of satire and that since Congress determines its own pay and perks it will never happen. But something has got to give soon in the United States of America because the printing presses are about ready to run out of ink. Somehow, someway we Americans have to put on the heat to make sure that the problems of America are dealt with, not kicked down the road year after year by a Congress that is afraid of a President who has no experience for the job he holds. Right now the only thing they are good at is naming post offices and other federal buildings for themselves.
I'm sure some of you have your own good ideas. Put them on paper for what is today's dream can become tomorrow's reality but only if we have the ability to come up with new ideas for old problems. In any event, it will make you think about the reality that we face today and it's one that must be faced sooner rather than later.
Have a great day, keep dreaming of what can be and God bless you and America. Let's keep this conversation alive and growing.