Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Balancing the Federal Budget

I heard a blurb on the radio news when I was listening to Hugh Hewitt's radio show. They said there's a new online game where you try to balance the federal budget. The game is here (warning: it makes noise).

I haven't played the game yet, but it reminds me of something I heard many years ago. They (the "they" that says things) said that somebody-or-other got together quite a few different groups of randomly ordinary citizens and put them to work on the federal budget. Each time, the citizens did the hard work of trimming excess from the budget. They attacked Social Security and all the big, bloated Departments of Wasteful Spending that Congress hasn't been able to bring themselves to touch reduce in decades. They did things to the budget that Everyone In The Know is certain the public wouldn't allow. And the organizers of the project were amazed at how beautiful the results were. Every single time.

So the questions that remain are:

Do we want a balanced federal budget? Do we want to see waste cut from the budget in a big way? Do we want an end to unconscionable earmarks for pointless projects whose only purpose is to get spoiled Congressmen and Senators re-elected?

If so, the answer is to put the budgeting process into the hands of random citizens who serve on a one-time basis. The President can tell the group what his proposals are, and the House and Senate Republicans and Democrats can make their cases as well. Then the group can go to work and present the results to Congress--and the press--for approval.

How we're supposed to get the system changed to this new method, though, is beyond me.

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