Image by Gerald_G
I solved it…maybe. I was pondering today and figured out how to solve the national budget crisis. The catch is, it requires us as citizens to engage in civic duty beyond just voting. The following five steps are a plausible way to dig our way out of the financial abyss we have fallen into.
- An oversight entity will be established with the sole purpose of enforcing the following steps of the plan. Absolutely no congressperson (past or present) will be allowed to serve on such a committee or be involved in any step of its functions under penalty of removal from their seat. (Rules about the entity would be another long post.)
- All members of congress will be required to submit 10% of their net worth to this entity upon taking office. This submission of assets will not be taxable.
- Any attempts to hide or shift assets around to defraud this system will result in penalties up to removal from office. The oversight entity will have the task of investigating each and every member’s finances to ensure compliance.
- For every percentage point congress spends over the annual budget, a matching percent will then be required from every member’s net worth beyond the initial 10%. Taking money from future earnings or cuts to balance the current budget will not negate this penalty.
- For every percentage they reduce the annual budget by, a matching percentage of the initial 10% will be returned to them.
With their own money at stake and not having to pay taxes on what they get back, I am sure our elected officials would be careful with every dollar in the budget. The part of the American public comes into play by pushing for such a measure in the first place. Otherwise, no politician would ever vote for such a proposal. However, if they know their constituents will pull their support and find someone else who will, the balance of power will be tipped. When we make our voices heard by backing up their mailboxes and phone lines, it would eventually pass one way or another.
The fact that groups of people can decide what to do with our money without any of theirs at stake is ridiculous. In fact, they often use their positions to significantly increase their wealth while in office. The only thing more ridiculous, is allowing it to happen in hopes that one day they will suddenly get their act together. Until the day when we stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated by the two party system and buying into the divisive propaganda, we can always expect more of the same.
By Corey Dorsey