Paul Jacob

Early last week, insider Republican and CNN columnist David Frum lashed out at the GOP’s Tea Party wing, writing: “You can’t save the system by destroying the system.” I responded on This is Common Sense:

If the system has put America on a crash course with disaster, then that system must be replaced. With a better one.

When I wrote that I had not yet fully comprehended the full import of the goofy creation (by the debt deal) of what Rep. Ron Paul calls a Super Congress — the select committee of senators and representatives to be put in charge of budgeting, with the rest of Congress not allowed to amend their proposals, just vote yea or nay.

There are two things to say about this:

    1. It’s interesting.

    2. It’s scary.

Interesting, in that such a major change to the constitution of our government could be contemplated without any official mention of the actual Constitution.

Scary, in that it goes in entirely the wrong direction, towards oligarchy and away from republic. We need more representation from the people (the “public” in the “republic”) — that is, more representatives in Congress — so that the ratio between politicians and citizens is not so lopsided, in favor of politician power and political class insularity.

But that sort of reform, like term limits, seems unlikely to occur while crisis breathes down our necks and our “transparent politicians” retreat further behind closed doors. So what particular system or systems need to be junked, and what replacements did I have in mind when I reacted against Frum’s anti-Tea screed?

I can think of many, but one reform stands out: Junk the budgeting process.


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.