In response to:

Why Republicans Are to Blame for the Fiscal Cliff

JustMC Wrote: Nov 29, 2012 1:06 AM
The GOP controls the House. Time to stop perpetuating the nonsense of all-you-can-eat government budgets. Start proposing ITEMIZED, granular appropriations. PRIORITIZE. Start by funding NORAD and the submarine operations of the Navy. (REAL, strategic defense.) Move on to funding the Federal Courts and such, whatever. Real, Constitutional stuff. Leave ethanol mandates, the DEA, HUD, Dept of Ed, etc, to ROT. And in doing all this in an ITEMIZED fashion, you put people on the record for support or non support of individual items. This is how Congress was supposed to operate. And they'd be so busy getting the basics done, it would tie their hands from all the criminal mischief in which they normally engage.
JustMC Wrote: Nov 29, 2012 1:10 AM
Put another way, LET the government shut down, and then switch on the things that are Constitutional and that matter. Let anyone who doesn't vote to fund NORAD right off the bat deal with the voters.

Yes, the entitlement challenge is very real (the "automatic spend") but we can certainly start cutting lots of other things by making the default behavior non-funding, with only things that get actively voted for being funded.
JustMC Wrote: Nov 29, 2012 1:13 AM
Longer term, it would make sense to limit the spend on ANY appropriation to some amount, like a billion dollars. Then there would be even MORE granularity of voting. Instead of cutting a deal for a bloated defense budget and a bloated welfare budget, have lots of individual votes on each, upping the funding by no more than a billion at a time. The coalitions of dealmakers would break down, and nobody could trust anyone in Congress because they couldn't logroll their pet stuff in with enough other stuff.
JustMC Wrote: Nov 29, 2012 1:17 AM
Then, compromise becomes, mathematically, the LEAST that everyone is willing to agree upon, rather than the MAX that they are willing to agree upon. Right now, it's "get EVERYTHING IN AT MAX FUNDING" to get one big budget that enough will support. Do it a billion at a time, in forcibly separate votes, and it builds up from zero until people stop voting for things when they are exposed. They can't hide behind the garbage that "I didn't have any choice about the bridge to nowhere, I voted for the greater good of other stuff in the budgett." If and when the Bridge to Nowhere comes up, you get to vote for it or not.
America is about to plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff -- and Americans are fighting mad about it. According to the latest polls, 77 percent of Americans believe that the fiscal cliff -- a combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in at the beginning of 2013 -- will hurt them personally. A full 70 percent of Americans want a compromise solution. And 67 percent believe that political leaders will act like "spoiled children."

Most important, though, Americans blame Republicans for the situation. While just 34 percent of Americans blame President Obama for the current fiscal cliff...