Skip to comments.My Proposal for House of Representatives Reform
Posted on 01/04/2023 11:12:06 AM PST by Brian Griffin
The power of the House of Representatives rests in the power of the purse and the Article I, Section 7 provision that "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." The budgeting process needs reform. Budgets should be crafted long in advance insomuch as possible. Haste does indeed make waste.
Basic operating budgets by department that contain clearly needed constitutional funding acceptable by both the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats should be enacted into law several months in advance of the start of a fiscal year. The federal government should never face a widespread shutdown nor have to run on a large scale on a continuing resolution.
Secondary budgets, mainly by department and United States Code sections, or for special projects such as a highway improvements or pork, should contain a needed reform to ensure the federal government gets more bang for taxpayer bucks. Secondary budget spending provisions should not be set in stone but be considered bargaining chips and all secondary budget drafts should be line item annotated (by Republican representative staffers) to identify the states and districts likely to be funded (to help Republican leaders bargain better). If Democratic Representative DR of District N in State S (or Democratic Senator S1/S2) refuses to play reform ball, related funding provisions should be subject to reduction or elimination. In the House, Democratic Representative DR should informally be given at least two voting chances to play ball the right way before their related proposed funding (for say highway projects) gets trimmed.
Budgets should be prepared using software that identifies the person making any text insertion, change or deletion. If third party (lobbyist/association, etc.) text is used, its source should be identified.
Proposed budget items should normally have to be submitted at least two months before the start of a fiscal year, except if they have individual line item approval by both the House Majority Leader and the House Minority Leader.
Reforms are clearly needed in my opinion:
1. The federal government should not be paying for over 90% of a person's or family's PPACA coverage, or over 70% of their rent. As I remember, there was a time when rents were modest and there was a required $50 minimum monthly tenant contribution, which would probably be about $500/month nowadays if adjusted for inflation. The minimum tenant payment might eventually be made 30% of the rent. The federal payment might eventually be made no more than 81% of the HUD fair market rent in their area for the appropriate unit housing size. The new minimums and maximums would make more reasonable what are the current law benefit amounts.
2. Federally funded welfare handouts currently encourage or force the disolution of families. Non-medical federal welfare handouts for a household (and its address[prorated]) should be subject no later than January 1, 2025 to a national calendar month cap of $FA for the first adult, plus $SA for the second adult, plus a $CB for one child and $CB/2 for all additional children, wherein existing Earned Income Credit handouts and Pell educational grants would not counted towards a cap. Welfare benefits for single adult households should be calculated on the basis of there being a second adult income of say the locally applicable minimum wage received 28 hours a week (since it has become common for moms to avoid formal relationships with men to maximize their household welfare benefits), excluding say 12 months after the formal breakup of a marriage by separation/divorce paper legal filing (or two months in any 60-month period otherwise).
3. States should not have to pay more for Medicaid drug prescriptions than governments or health care entities in France, the UK or Germany, excluding modest dispensing fees.
4. States should also be able to obtain Medicaid drugs along UK NHS lines.
5. States should not have to pay under their Medicaid systems for services or products not generally paid for by UK, French and German health care cost coverage systems.
6. Tax credit-based refunds, which are highly prone to fraud, should be eliminated. Real estate depreciation should be more realistically treated for income tax purposes.
7. General (i.e. 1040) income taxes paid by personal taxpayers on income over say $400,000/year should be placed in a Treasury "lockbox" for national debt payment until the national debt is paid off. The threshold should be reduced by $10,000 for each trillion dollar increase in the national debt. Democrats should not be able to buy votes by promises of freebies to be paid for by high income folks. The corporate tax rate might be set to a percentage equal to the national debt divided by $1 trillion, less 10[($31 trillion/$1 trillion)-10 = 21 to set a 21% federal corporate income tax rate] to ensure 'Wall Street' and top-level CEOs support federal fiscal responsibility.
8. Methadone clinics should only be able to be run from no earlier than 2:30pm to at least 7pm so methadone junkies are temporally able to hold down a job. The federal government has regulated opiates since 1909 I believe.
9. Social Security schemes [old age & disability] should have their inflation adjustments reduced by 1% plus one-fifth of the percentage CPI increase as necessary to help the schemes survive.
10. SS disability schemes should encourage work by reducing monthly benefits only by the amount of income subject to SS system taxation of the past three calendar years that started after benefits were granted divided by say 100. Many SS disability benefit recipients are 'flaky' people who could occasionally hold down a job. If Nate Nutcase made $1000 the prior year, $2000 the year before that and $600 the year before that, for a total of $3600, his monthly benefit amounts would get reduced by $10, $30 and then $36. Delaying reductions would work well with the mentality of live-for-the-moment people. A licensed medical person treating a disability recipient (or government-funded case worker) should be able to appropriately cancel out a monthly payment reduction during the month it was or will be made for, or in or for the month prior [just in case a disability recipient has a flare-up].
11. SNAP benefits might be issued weekly to curtail monthly steak & seafood to food bank cycles. This is easy to do since the system is computerized. American poor people quite often lack budgeting skills.
12. Regulations often badly need to be simplified, clarified, logically organized and limited.
13. Regulations should have to be approved by Congress for limited times, such as thirty days or nine years.
14. Federal judges should not have the power to require government expenditure. The power of the government purse must be legislative and Article IV, Section 4 "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government" should be 100% respected. The Constitution IMO require federal court consent decrees placing any financial burden on government be voided.
15. Article 44 of the refugee convention should be exercised, getting the US out from the convention after a year so persons claiming refugee/asylum seeker status have no international law-based pretense to invade the US, or get welfare benefits. Domestic law permitting persons claiming refugee status to invade the US should be voided effective after that year. Admission of refugees/asylum seekers should be under strict Congressional control both numerically by source country & region limits and process requirements.
16. The federal government should no longer directly lend money to college students, but only to colleges when the loans are fully secured by real estate and securities (with common stocks to have a margin requirement of 50% plus 1% for each year of corporate existence less than 50). Graduate/dropout repayment of future loans might be placed on the English model (which is ~9% of income above basic subsistence level income), but with the college collateral always protecting federal finances. Parent Plus and federal undergraduate loans above the basic undergraduate maximums should no longer be issued. Top colleges have massive endowments nowadays and the top colleges should be investing in (or lending to) their high quality students.
17. Bills should generally not be more than one hundred pages, except for those enacting regulations directly by Congress. Perhaps the number of votes necessary to bring a bill to the floor should be the number of pages in the bill plus the number of House Representatives not in the party of the Majority Leader, which would limit possible bill length to 435 pages. No set of regulations need exceed 434 pages IMO.
Please feel free to suggest additional reforms.
I never mentioned governments or licenses, professor.
Have studied for some 60 years
Some folks are slow learners, I guess.
Fact is, nobody ASKED you to "teach" anything.
It's nice that you view yourself as some kind of authority
but really you're just a goober with an opinion, like everyone else.
So tell us more about these "Proposals" you've submitted on the floor of the House.
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