Diary

A simple idea for holding our federal government accountable for the money it spends

We often hear about how the federal government is wasting our hard earned tax dollars, and that neither party has any desire to reign it in. There are still conservatives out there who talk about the need to reform various agencies, and to cut spending across the board. But I rarely hear about any specific ideas on how they would do this. The following is an idea I had. It might not be original, but it’s one I haven’t read or heard about before. If you think it’s unrealistic, or not a good idea, that’s fine, but then you should also come up with your own ideas for how we can limit the size and scope of our federal government.

Here’s my idea:

Congress should pass a law stating the following: For each new gov’t program or policy that’s implemented, the gov’t has to show how they’re gonna pay for it, down to the very last penny. If Congress and the president were required to do this, they’d have much less of an incentive to keep spending our money at the current rate.

In a family , a husband or wife can’t just say to their spouse out of the blue “Honey, I’m gonna spend $1000 of our money on a pet project of mine”. Their spouse might need that money for something else, and at the very least, they would need to know: 1)Exactly why this project is necessary, and how it will be beneficial to them, and 2)If they have enough income to sustain such a project, in addition to all of the other regular expenses they’re incurring.

The federal gov’t should show us exactly why any new program is necessary, and what the benefit is to us. The law I’m proposing would have the additional benefit of forcing the gov’t to decide which programs are more important than others (and thus would receive more funding), and which aren’t necessary at all, and thus would be defunded.

Finally, if the American people could see exactly how their tax dollars are being spent, and that they aren’t being wasted, they would be more likely to have at least a baseline level of trust in the gov’t and the agencies they might have to deal with. I believe this would make them less likely to nominate and elect candidates like Trump in the future, with the goal of “blowing up the system”. If gov’t is transparent, honest, and efficient, it doesn’t need to be blown up.

Do I think Congress would ever pass a law like this? It’s highly unlikely. But that shouldn’t stop us from putting pressure on them to do so. Members of Congress and the president work for us, and we should never let them forget that. That means they must be accountable for every decision they make, including how they spend our money. It’s up to us to hold them accountable.