Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bringing Fiscal Sobriety To The GOP

Pete DuPont has a plan. Here are the chief steps:

First, the president must be persuaded to reduce congressional spending. He must use his rescission authority to force the Congress to vote on rescinding some $15 billion, about the average of what presidents have requested since the rescission process began in the 1970s. The president has proposed one rescission of $2.3 billion, but he must be far more aggressive.

Second, when Congress enacts legislation exceeding the president's requested budget spending levels, he should veto those spending bills. Legislators need to be forcefully reminded that spending requires executive as well as legislative approval.

Third, the president needs line-item veto authority. Most of the states governors have it and use it to control spending, and so should the President. When President Bush recently suggested a line-item veto, Mr. Lewis said the legislative branch of government had the spending power and to give any veto power to the president "could be a very serious error." But the opposite is the case: the line-item veto is a very serious improvement that the president and Republicans should pursue.

Next, Congress needs to clean up its earmark spending process. As a start it should adopt the proposal from Rep. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) that each earmark's sponsor be identified in the text of spending bills, and that a vote be allowed on specific earmark proposals. Congress should also establish term limits for Appropriations Committee members so that the congressional political establishment cannot go on swag-splitting forever.

He also calls for a balanced budget amendment, a flat tax, and repeal of the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act. Read the whole thing.

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