by: the Common Constitutionalist
I’m not one for proposing & enacting new legislation. In my opinion, America has too many laws already. Most could be repealed without the general population even realizing it. The repeal of many of them would have little effect on our lives.
That being said, I recently reprinted a column from one of my heroes, Walter E. Williams; economist & occasional fill in host for El Rusbo.
In the article he explains the problem with federal spending; that every congressman & senator in Washington tries to take as large a piece of the federal pie home to his or her district. He describes their political success as how much “Bacon they can bring home”.
Williams then goes on to explain how & why this spending is simply unsustainable, but understands their attempt at legitimizing the taking. It would sound good for a bit, but what would be the point in refusing the money. If they don’t take it home, someone else will, so why not grab it.
You may link to this article here
That got me thinking. There ought to a law! Wow, never thought I’d say that, but in this case, there ought.
So, I hereby propose a new bill: If a congressman or senator is bold enough to refuse money from the feds for his or her state, the amount they refuse cannot be spent elsewhere. If they have the courage to decline federal funds, the amount they forebear would automatically be deducted from next years budget.
A stand-alone government website would be established to keep score of every congressman and senator, as it were. Every dime they took for there state as well as what they refused. There would be no where to hide.
I believe many conservative lawmakers would be happy to refuse federal graft if they thought it could make a difference to do so. Presently, as described above, there is no benefit.
A lawmaker could triumphantly return to their district with the rightful claim that he or she actually did cut the budget by X amount instead of the current excuses of why it can’t be done, or worse, the shady lies that it is being done, when they know it is all accounting gimmickry.
There would be no need for committees, or dimwitted chamber speeches. It would be automatic.
Would it balance the budget? Nope. Would it decrease our deficit or debt? Only fractionally.
What it may do is begin to change the mindset of congress, that one man really can make a difference and if enough of them jumped on the bandwagon, it could very well have an impact.
It would also be a great campaigning tool. A big spender would be a lot easier to spot and thus run against.