USA Today featured an article describing proposals being discussed for fixing the Congressional budgeting process. While there are some good ideas on the list, here are some that need to be considered:
1) Congress receives no pay unless a budget is passed. If Congress cannot do its job of passing a budget, then our Congressmen should not be rewarded for not doing their job. Pass as many continuing resolutions as you want, but your bank account will remain empty until the budget is done. (Note: While this is alluded to at the end of the article, I have included it because it was not listed as one of the points.)
2) Balance the budget without an amendment, and without budget tricks. Should we really need a balanced budget amendment to force Congress to balance the budget? I am fine with the amendment, but perhaps Congress should consider balancing the budget without it. Furthermore, we need a real balanced budget, not one that uses accounting tricks to appear balanced while still adding to the debt.
3) Set a permanent tax rate. Americans may not like tax increases, but they dislike uncertainty more. We need to establish a permanent tax structure so that Americans will be able to figure out what taxes will be taken out of their checks from year to year. Sure, we can close ridiculous loopholes and eliminate some deductions, but unless Americans have a reasonable idea of what they will pay in taxes next year, they will not spend more this year.