Thursday, April 30, 2009
On Fiscal Conservatism
Hardline fiscal conservatism is being watered down.
"Take a concept like “fiscal conservatism.” Let’s define it (arbitrarily) as “The State should not take from citizens more than is necessary for the maintenance of a just and moral society.”---Rick Moran, Right Wing Nut House
Yes, it is arbitrary, and it is useful to show the interpretive differences that arise. But, it isn’t anywhere close to what I define as fiscal conservatism:
1. Expenditures must not exceed revenue. When revenue falls, so must expenditures. (exception: see #5)
2. Entitlements must be capped at no more than X% of gross revenue. If gross revenue falls, so must entitlements.
3. Security, including law enforcement, HSA, and defense, must be capped at Y% of gross revenue. (see exception in 10. below)
4. No legislation can be passed unless the means for its funding are fully aired, voted upon and fully funded at the same time.
5. Deficit spending legislation must require a 2/3rds vote in both houses.
6. The current deficit must be paid off over 10 years(perhaps 20,or you name it, I can’t keep up!)by deducting the yearly payments from gross revenue available.
7. Earmarks must be outlawed, and any other devious means for dipping into the common till must also be outlawed.
8. To aid avoiding cronyism, there must be term limits for Congressmen.
9. No bill can be passed until it has been read fully by all congressmen personally, debated in both houses, and without tricky maneuvers by the party in power to avoid a floor fight.
10. Emergency spending must be legislated and passed with a 2/3rds favorable vote in both houses.
11. The President must be given a line item veto power that can only be overridden by a 3/4th majority of both houses.
12. Progressive taxation must be abolished, and a Fair Tax installed in its place, plus all other federal taxes by any name must be abolished.
13.Any excess revenue must be used to reduce the national debt.
14. No bill should be presented that exceeds Z% of gross revenue to the government, or that is projected to exceed this yearly revenue percentage in out years. (see #4,#5)
15. There must be no riders to bills that are not germane to the principal issue of that bill.
X and Y above might be established as their current value. Z might be set at .5%: the idea is to reduce the number of omnibus spending bills.
Of course, there isn’t any chance at all that these provisions would be put into law now. But some legislation that moves the mark in these fiscally conservative directions may be possible post 2010 or 2012.