No Budget, NO PAY!
I have a message for the House and Senate. I am one of your bosses. You work for me and I am repulsed by your job performance! If it were my decision, and mine only, you would be fired. Your performance aligns perfectly with your approval rating… reproachful and bleak!
(an outraged taxpayer who has to work every day, fulfill my job responsibilities, balance my bank account, and live within my budget. What have YOU done to earn the salary and benefits I pay you?)
Three years and no budget from our lawmakers, but hey, it is break time and the paychecks with plush benefits keep coming for our lawmakers who apparently feel they have no accountability or responsibility to the American people they serve. Yes, my fellow Americans, they do work for us, but somehow I believe those republicans and democrats that are on our payroll have come to the conclusion that they answer to no one.
First, lets examine WHY our lawmakers not only can not, but will not produce and pass a budget. The dirty secret of today’s Congress is that many members actually benefit from missing our financial deadlines. When they hold up negotiations, highlight a parochial cause, and take a budget or appropriations bill hostage, they get lots of free publicity and become a hero to the special interests they are protecting.
Our lawmakers have left for a 5-week break with a long list of work that has not been completed and nothing to show for the past year and a half. According to the latest polls, 80 of Americans are very unhappy with members of our House and Senate. I believe those polls are underestimating the level of dissatisfaction. I submit that 80 percent of the American people are not “unhappy” but instead, “outraged” at our House and Senate.
The practical consequences of failing to produce a federal budget for next year are about the same as they are for a family that doesn’t set a plan for income and spending: Congress doesn’t need a budget to tax or spend, but enforcing discipline is harder without one. And, like a family that misses out on efficiencies because it hasn’t taken a hard look at its finances, Congress can’t use reconciliation rules to cut the deficit if the House and the Senate don’t adopt the same budget.
This is a Congress that can’t address the major issues and yet even the small decisions, such as a one-year extension of student loan subsidies that passed in June, makes them sweat.
Congress left Washington for a five-week vacation one day early on Thursday on a typical note: a GOP filibuster in the Senate of a bipartisan cybersecurity bill and the House’s abandonment of a one-year extension, as Republican leaders had planned, of food and farm policy.
Lawmakers will return in September for what promises to be an abbreviated pre-election session with two main items of business.
Most important is a six-month spending bill to keep the government running through March and prevent any possibility of a politically explosive government shutdown before the election. Not one of the 13 must-pass spending bills has been completed and the new budget year begins Oct. 1.
The bottom line is this: A budget is a STATUTORY RESPONSIBILITY because the American people have a right to know how politicians are spending their taxes. And there’s a reason lawmakers on both sides of the fence have contempt for that law: so their recklessness can be hidden from voters.
One of the proposals that is gaining traction in light of Congress’s inability to pass a federal budget is the so-called “No Budget, No Pay” proposal, in which members of Congress would stop being paid if they do not pass a federal budget on time. A new nationwide poll shows that support for this concept is so strong that 72% of American voters support a Constitutional amendment to that effect.
I’m game. .. How about YOU?