Regardless of your political persuasion, I have a solution to the Homeland Security funding fiasco. Since the government wonks have not consulted with me (AGAIN), I think we ought to start a groundswell campaign to get the following proposal into law.
As with everything political, who people blame for the DHS funding issue depends on which side of the aisle they favor. Face it. Both sides are equally to blame.
Obama made an ill-advised decision to do an end-run on Congress and issued an executive order halting deportation of illegal aliens. Congress made an ill-advised decision to add riders countering Obama’s order to the DHS funding bill. Republicans could easily capitulate and drop the riders. Democrats could just as easily capitulate and pass the bill with the riders. Even more easily, Obama could rescind his executive memo. They don’t and won’t because there is no down side for them.
This is NOT a comment on the rightness or wrongness of deporting people here illegally. It is solely addressing equal blame for the stalemate that has allowed the good, hard-working people of DHS to be held hostage. Since both sides are to blame and DHS is not, we just need to do a hostage exchange.
Instead of the working people of DHS who have no control over funding, the impact of budget deadlocks should be borne by the politicians who do have control.
Here are the basics:
- Step One – This wasn’t some unexpected event that caught everyone by surprise. Everybody knows when budgets expire.
- New funding must be approved 30 days prior to that expiration date. (D-Day)
- Accelerate penalties after expiration of funding. (F-Day – This term has a lot of potential for sub-textual meaning.)
- Step Two – In the event funding is not approved by D-Day, Congress and Presidential compensation are “de-funded”. That is:
- No salaries,
- No bonuses,
- No expense accounts,
- No perks.
- Step Three – Congress and the President must keep working.
- No weekends off
- No holidays off
- No vacations
- No sick leave
- Step Four – After D-Day:
- Funds saved from de-funding Congress and the President go towards funding DHS.
- Once the deadlock is resolved, there is no “make-up” or payment of back compensation
- Step Five – After F-Day, penalties for Congress and the President become punitive. Penalties deserve some thought, but here are a few ideas:
- Escalating daily fines
- Dereliction of duty ratings published for voters in next election
- It is F-Day – Use your imagination!!!
There it is. Five-Steps – Easy, clean, effective. And – this will work for every budget deadlock. How many times do you think politicians will fail to come to workable solutions if they are not able to pass the pain on to their constituencies – if they are paying the price?