How Not Wasting a Crisis Works

In the online Wall Street Journal, David Malpass has written an excellent opinion piece, And the Crisis Winner Is? Government. I encourage you to read the entire article. The point he is making is Governments on both sides of the Atlantic are trying to use the crisis to grow rather than shrink. Below is an excerpt:

In February, President Obama will be able to impose another $1.2 trillion debt-limit increase using special voting rules forced through Congress last August to avoid a government shutdown. It should be clear by now that politicians will not voluntarily reduce government or government debt. The so-called debt limit is harmful because it threatens default and broad government shutdowns, both unacceptable, but doesn’t limit spending at all.

The debt limit should be replaced with a new debt ceiling that forces Washington to cut spending. When the debt-to-GDP ratio is above target, Washington should suffer escalating penalties on its power, benefits and spending authority. There should be no threat of debt default or government shutdown. Instead, Washington should face a benefits straitjacket that is so uncomfortable for the president, his senior executives and Congress that they work around the clock to enact spending cuts and asset sales to bring debt back below target. They should get a bonus if they get the job done and embarrassing, escalating penalties if they don’t.

Here are some possible penalties: 1% pay cut per month for the 10,000 highest-paid government employees with a prohibition on it being restored; suspension of limousines for assistant secretaries and higher; market-rate monthly fee for free government parking. During periods of excess debt, the president should have impoundment authority but also be required to write a monthly letter to Congress stating preferred spending cuts equal to 20% of the fiscal deficit.

I like his suggestions for penalties, but unfortunately, I don’t believe there are enough elected constitutional conservatives sent to DC to make it happen. We need to see a heavy ball and chain attached to congress critters as an incentive to cut spending. This also reminds me of something former lobbyist Jack Abramoff said.

Sure. There were Congressmen there – there were very few – such as Congressman Dana Rohrabacher from California, who didn’t play golf, had no interest in it, and whenever he and I would go to dinner, he would pay. He never really cared about raising money, that’s why he never really moved up in terms of the rankings, because it’s all based on the money you raise.

On Dec. 14th at 7PM the House passed the NDAA bill 283-186. Dec. 15th at 4PM the Senate passed the NDAA bill 86-13 to avert the crisis of a government shutdown. On Dec. 16th, the House passed the omnibus bill 296-121, and more Democrats than Republicans voted “Yes.”  Dana Rohrabacher and 48 of the “very few” Congressmen voted “no” to spending additional money the government does not have. The 49 Congressman are listed below.

AZ-1 Gosar, Paul
AZ-5 Schweikert, David
AZ-6 Flake, Jeff
CA-4 McClintock, Tom
CA-40 Royce, Edward
CA-46 Rohrabacher, Dana
CA-48 Campbell, John
CO-3 Tipton, Scott
CO-6 Coffman, Mike
FL-14 Mack, Connie
FL-15 Posey, Bill
GA-7 Woodall, Rob
GA-9 Graves, Tom
ID Crapo, Michael
ID Risch, James
ID-1 Labrador, Raúl
ID-2 Simpson, Michael
IL-8 Walsh, Joe
IL-15 Johnson, Timothy
IN-3 Stutzman, Marlin
IN-4 Rokita, Todd
IN-5 Burton, Dan
IN-6 Pence, Mike
IN-8 Bucshon, Larry
KS-1 Huelskamp, Tim
KY Paul, Rand
MD-1 Harris, Andy
MI-2 Huizenga, Bill
MI-3 Amash, Justin
MI-7 Walberg, Timothy
NJ-5 Garrett, Scott
NC-3 Jones, Walter
OK Coburn, Thomas
SC DeMint, Jim
SC-3 Duncan, Jeff
SC-4 Gowdy, Trey
SC-5 Mulvaney, Mick
TN-1 Roe, Phil
TN-2 Duncan, John
TN-4 DesJarlais, Scott
TX-26 Burgess, Michael
UT Lee, Mike
UT-3 Chaffetz, Jason
VA-4 Forbes, J.
VA-5 Hurt, Robert
VA-6 Goodlatte, Robert
VA-9 Griffith, H.
WI-8 Ribble, Reid
WY-0 Lummis, Cynthia

Notice that there are no GOP Leadership names on the list. If our nation was on the right track, our leaders’ names would be there.

Cross-posted at Unified Patriots