In a previous post of the same title, Fixing The U.S. Federal Budget I talked about an amendment to the constitution that would lock federal spending to be on track with GDP, and severely limit Congress’ ability to modify it. After some further thought, I think I’ve arrived at a simpler solution.
To make sure that the U.S. Federal Budget is sustainable and to safeguard economic growth, we need to amend the constitution to take the responsibility of Federal Funding from Congress and give it to a newly formed body. The newly formed body must be a board of seven proven economic experts with lifetime appointments. This new board will be able to devote all of their time to managing the trillions of dollars involved in the Federal Budget, instead of being sidetracked by “balloons,” “national divorce,” or “gas stoves” like Congress. Furthermore, since the new board has lifetime appointments, they are minimally beholden to parties and elections and they can focus on the principles and practice of economics. The board will help to reduce the possibility of corruption because it is much easier to monitor seven board members as opposed to a sea of hundreds of Congress people that can change every two years.
For appointment of new board members, a 4/5 majority of states is required. Each state may choose to approve as many or as few of the nominated candidates as they wish for each vacancy. In the event that multiple candidates achieve 4/5 approval simultaneously and there are too many candidates for the available slots, then the president selects which of the approved candidates will fill the available slots. Candidates are nominated by no fewer than five states. Candidates may be withdrawn from their position on the board at any time by a 3/5 majority of states. Note that where I indicate that a decision is made by the states, I mean that each state’s lawmakers can decide how their state will make the decision. A given state could have the governor decide, or the legislature, or even have a direct vote. The purpose of this potential variability among States is to present a more confusing and difficult problem to would-be lobbyists for candidates to help to insure that actual experts are appointed.
The reason we need to do this is because average voters can’t really evaluate the long term effects of a targeted tax or spending change. Only economic experts can do that. Even most Congress-people have to rely on those same economic experts, though they often hide the truth with spin. So, rather than having voters just decide on Congress people (which can also complicate elections with issues not related to the budget such as abortion), and then have Congress People receive but ignore or spin advice from economic experts. We should just elect the economic experts to this new board.
The precise powers of the Budget Board are as follows: First, the Whitehouse budget must go only to the board for modification and approval, and the board has final decision on the matter. Currently, the whitehouse prepares a budget for Congress by law, but with this amendment, the whitehouse will have a constitutional responsibility to provide a budget to the new board. Next, when Congress passes a law or treaty which results in instantaneous spending, or obtaining credit, then the board may veto the law or treaty. If both the board and the president veto the new law or treaty, then it is defeated. If the president signs but the board vetos or the board signs and the president vetos, then the law or treaty goes back to Congress and can still be passed by them by the same rules as used in the original constitution to bypass a presidential veto. Besides those two cases, everything is the same. Congress can still pass other laws, and the Whitehouse has to prepare a budget to accommodate those laws, but the Board does not have to allow law changes to be funded or implemented in their final approved budget. The board will mandatorily provide long term projections for the U.S. economy and for taxes and tariffs which businesses should be aware of ahead of time. The board will be mandated to keep the U.S. Fiscally Sustainable, and secondarily to encourage steady growth.