Saturday, September 26, 2015

What John Boehner's replacement ought to do

Once elected that is. 
No more "continuing resolutions" no more "omnibus spending bills, no more"one-big-fund-everything" bills.  From here on in, we will pass single bills, one to fund each Federal government activity.  A defense bill, a highway bill, Justice department bill, a FAA bill, a HHS bill, a Homeland Security bill, and so on.
  This is the way it was done from George Washington's time down to very recently.  Recently something fell thru the cracks and the necessary appropriation bills were not passed.  When the end of the fiscal year came up, Congress would pass a stop gap to keep the government running. One huge stop gap.  And they are still doing it. 
   Trouble with the one-big-funds-everything bill is it gives every special interest group enormous leverage to get their pet gravy train funded.  Fund us or we vote against the bill and the entire government takes a hit.  Today it's the Planned Parenthood special interests.  Tomorrow it will be some one else.  I forget who was threatening government shutdown last time.  When everything depends upon a single bill passing, it isn't too hard to threaten to stop it. 
   If we went back to doing it the right way, the special interest groups would have less leverage.  Assuming Planned Parenthood funding comes out of HHS, all the special interests could do is threaten passage of the HHS funding.  Which doesn't have nearly the punch of threatening a government shut down. 
  You would think you could find enough Congress Critters to do this.  Weakening the special interests would pass control back to elected Congressmen.  Right now,  the Congressmen have to vote the one-big-spending-bill thru. They don't get a chance to amend things, or bargain, all they can do is vote for it.  Plus, the entire federal budget is so vast, and so complicated that no one understands it.  Whereas a Congressman has a chance to learn a smaller piece of it, defense say, fairly well.  Knowing where the bodies are buried, a Congressman can insist on changes in the bill before the vote.  With a one-big-funding-bill nobody knows it well enough to make any changes.  So all the agencies will get what they got last year, plus an inflation booster, and things go on, Federal spending rises, and unnecessary activities get funded, just 'cause they got funded last year. 

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