Governor and Presidential Candidate Rick Perry's Washington reform plan, rolled out yesterday, is the third big policy plank of his campaign, after energy and tax. It didn't get all that much press attention, but it's worth a look, both for its diagnosis of the problem and for its suggestions on potential solutions. There's a great "federal spending explosion" chart reporting that "one day of federal spending today now equals total 1940 spending" and "federal spending today is six times greater than it was in 1980." The erosion of the value of the dollar is part of that story, but not the whole story, either.
The provision that particularly caught my eye was this one, as summarized by the Perry campaign: "the governor's plan calls for fundamental reform of the legislative branch by establishing a part-time, citizen Congress that cuts in half their salaries, office budgets and time in Washington. Additionally, if Congress cannot balance the budget by 2020, as the governor has previously called for, their salaries should be cut in half again."
"Cut their pay and send them home," as Lamar Alexander used to say back in the 1990s. It has a certain populist appeal, though if you think Congress is corrupt now, imagine what would happen once they all have half-time jobs working for defense contractors, drug companies or labor unions.
There's a lot more there, though, including a constitutional amendment to end lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices.