October 24, 2006

Dividing the Question

Reading through a RedState piece entitled Spending is the problem I was struck by the utter futility and stupidity of one of the proposed solutions.

The Line Item Veto: Senator Talent and I have taken the lead on legislation proposing a Constitutional amendment to give the President the authority that 43 State governors presently possess, and which I had as Governor of Virginia the line-item veto which would hold the President and Congress accountable for non-essential wasteful government spending.

Instead of putting the country through the lengthy, nervewracking process of amending the Constitution, why not just structure the bills differently so each line item is voted on seperately? Any majority can do this today, just amend the rules to allow votes on all line items and allow Senators/Representatives to vote for and against each line item or just down the line the whole bill.

No constitutional amendment that will take many years to get passed, no intervention by the Court, just take something like the DoD appropriation bill and turn one vote into potentially 40,000 separate votes for those who want to pay attention and vote no on specific portions that are unworthy.

Yes, this will undo all the incumbent excuses. Yes, this will make it much harder to sneak things through. Yes, this will give ammunition to challengers when people vote "straight ticket" on large bills. Yes, this will be much better for the country.

And the president can veto individual line items because they will be individual bills, meeting Constitutional muster as our Supreme Court has laid out the requirements.

I won't hold my breath for this piece of sensible application of IT resources to our national governance gets implemented. Maybe that's just me getting cynical. More likely it's just realism.

Posted by TMLutas at October 24, 2006 12:07 PM