We are once again rapidly approaching the time when the debt ceiling will be reached, and Congress must consider what to do (read: consider who will not get support from the RNC because of opposing raising the debt ceiling).
We are nearly $20 trillion in debt, a number that can hardly be fathomed. The excessive debt, this generational theft, is the issue that few are talking about, but one that will affect every person alive today, and yet to be born. This trend of spending and spending and spending cannot continue; it is simply unsustainable. But Congress does not seem to care one bit, for they continue their ‘govern by crisis’ model of government.
As Congressman Justin Amash wrote in 2015, Congress is currently engaged in a process that disrespects both the institution and the American people. They are doing this not because they misunderstand the role of Congress, but because their priorities are not the well-being of their constituents.
Speaker Boehner and other Republican leaders have repeatedly favored a “govern by crisis” approach that abandons the regular order of the House. Despite having months to act before legislative deadlines, leaders routinely wait until the last moment to plot a course of action, publicly concede in advance major negotiating points, insist that Republicans have no alternatives, refuse to allow amendments and then criticize colleagues for not voting to avert the crisis leadership caused.
This approach produces constant frustration among representatives in both parties and promotes the partisan finger-pointing that angers Americans at home. Instead of making bipartisan compromises to address long-term issues, Congress constructs desperate, last-minute political deals to obtain the requisite votes simply to clear the immediate impasse.
He also predicted that the next Speaker would have a similar way of running things, unless major changes were implemented. Several years into Paul Ryan’s tenure as Speaker and we see no evidence of that.
This model of governance is one that perpetuates irresponsibility, and one that will only continue to concentrate power inside the Capitol Beltway, leaving the people that actually matter to deal with the fallout. These egghead elitsts do not understand everyday life; they have no concept of what it is to be a real person in every day America.
Hence, the thought may not even occur to them that their societal-level of reckless endangerment will have real consequences for the very people they are supposed to defend at the Capitol. Those consequences are going to happen when that debt, whatever beyond-ludicrous number it may be, is called by our creditors (think China). What happens when we cannot pay all that money back?
That means war, folks. A full-blown war between the United States and (likely) China. And this kind of war would make the wars of the 20th century look like territorial squabbles.
So what is the solution to avoid this? How do we begin to enter damage control mode, and at least begin the process of getting the debt under control?
We must return to the “Regular Order” process of governance. And what is that? Well, I’m glad you asked.
According to Angelo Codevilla, writing for American Greatness, “regular order” is the process by which the federal government used to do things from the 1790s until around fifty years ago or so.
Bills introduced in House or Senate would be sent to the relevant committee, and thence to the proper sub-committee. The ones thought worthy—including those funding the federal government’s operations—would be the subject of public hearings.
The committees’ partisan majorities and minorities would try to stage manage the hearings to make the best case for the outcomes they desired on each point. In the process, public support would strengthen or wane for particular items and approaches. Then, each subcommittee’s public “mark up” of its portion of the bill would reflect the members’ votes and compromises on each item.
Once the several subcommittee products had made their way to the full committee, the same process would repeat. Votes on contested items, and on the whole bill, would end the full committee’s “mark up” and send the bill to be scheduled for action on the House or Senate floor.
This process was one that involved a great deal of public scrutiny. People could see what exactly was being proposed, what was being amended, and who was doing the proposing, amending, and voting. The current “govern by crisis” model takes public scrutiny, and hence accountability, out of the equation.
Instead, what we have today are the infamous “continuing resolutions” that the leadership crafts in secret at the last minute. Whereas, the budgetary process used to be one that was more open and transparent, it is now one shrouded in cabal, intrigue, and corruption.
For the past 11 years, however, all the money drawn from the treasury have come from single “continuing resolutions” (CRs) or “omnibus” bills, drafted in secret by “leadership” staffers, executive branch officials, and lobbyists, on which there have been no hearings and which few members have ever read, and on which few if any amendments have been allowed. These “Cromnibuses,” served up as the government runs out of spending authority, end up being passed by the majority party’s near unanimity.
No wonder such irresponsible behavior is happening on a daily basis in Washington. The entire system is now based on the exact things that the Founders warned us about during the early days of the Constitution (H/T Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi).
With this kind of a process, and the entire bureaucracy and media establishment being a hostile force, this ‘govern by crisis’ model cannot be allowed to continue. The regular order of Congress must be reestablished to ensure the security and continuing stability of the American republic.
The $20 trillion national debt is an invisible crisis that will be one of the reasons for the seemingly inevitable downfall of the United States. It is a gas leak that few are aware of, and even fewer of which know the true extent. Yet the head of household is ignoring the warnings from those who can smell the leak, who are warning that it’s time to call the utility company to stop the leak before it turns deadly.
Will Congress actually work to stop the leak, or will that spark light up the whole house?