In a July 8, 2011 CNBC interview, Warren Buffet said “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.”
Buffet was concerned about the credit worthiness of the United States and was opposed to the gun at the head approach being used by some congressional republicans. Buffet’s main point was that congress needs to act in a mature and responsible way to get things done in a timely manner. Making them ineligible or voting them out of office if they don’t is the most effective way to make sure this happens!
Buffet’s 5 minute comment may not be mathematically possible, but it does highlight the power of the American people and provides a foundation to getting our deficits under control.
I support Buffet’s general premise and advocate the passage of the:
Deficit Reduction Amendment– Congress members become ineligible for re-election if deficits exceed GDP by 3% over any 10 year period that they are in office or 5% over any 5 year period.
Why the longer time periods? Because deficit spending is not a necessarily a bad thing if it leads to SURPLUSES in future years. Deficit spending can help alleviate economic down turns and some spending is really an investment in the future.
The problem in Washington is that once politicians on either side of the aisle start spending on something, they don’t have any incentive to stop. This leads to massive deficits during bad times and smaller deficits in good times, but no surpluses and an ever growing national debt. Passage of the Deficit Reduction Amendment would give politicians the ultimate incentive- Lose your job if you do not get deficits under control.
Here I discussed “A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury…the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse…” Fear of losing their job is really the only incentive that seems to motivate the guys in Washington.
Isn’t it time that we stop passing the buck to future generations and save our democracy from itself? A well thought out Deficit Reduction Amendment will help do that.