A quick solution to the debtlocked Congress

It involves finding an average between the three constitutional bodies - the House, the Senate and the Executive.

The first thing to do is discern how much the difference between revenue and expenditure currently is. In 2011 Q1 it was $2.5231 trillion revenue and $3.7290 spending, a difference of -$1.2059 trillion. If we assume that that number has to be reduced to zero it should come as a result of spending cuts, taxation increases or a combination of both.

So what happens is that each member of the House is given a piece of paper. On that piece of paper they write down what percentage of this -$1.2059 Trillion should be paid for by spending cuts and what percentage by tax increases. I'm sure that right wing extremists are likely to nominate 100% cuts and 0% tax increases, while some lefties are likely to nominate 0% cuts and 100% tax increases. At the same time as members of the House do this, members of the Senate do as well. President Obama also does it.

Equal weighting is given to each of the three bodies (House, Senate, Executive) because they are equally weighted under the Constitution. The "averaging out" process would essentially be enforcing a mathematically based bipartisan compromise.

What happens then is that the average for cuts and tax increases is determined for the House. Let's say it is 61% cuts and 39% taxes. Let's say the Senate average is 46% cuts and 54% taxes. Now let's say that Obama goes for 40% cuts and 60% taxes.

This would mean that an average 49% of the three constitutional bodies say spending cuts while 51% want higher taxes. This would translate to $590.891 billion in spending cuts and $615.009 billion in new taxes (in annual terms). If you do the math, that would result in $3.138109 trillion revenue and $3.138109 trillion spending - a balanced budget.

Of course this voting structure would mean that the final number would have to be accepted by all parties before the vote is cast. This will allow members of congress to vote according to their ideology and please their voters, while at the same time creating a compromise solution.

It goes without saying that an increase in the debt ceiling would also accompany the bill.

1 comment:

oji said...

Not sure which "lefties" would vote for no cuts, since that implies no cuts in war spending, oil and gas subsidies, etc...