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Rand Paul's Plan to Eliminate Government Shutdowns: Automatic 1 Percent Budget Cuts

Because nothing in Washington is more terrifying than the prospect of a minuscule spending reduction

YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS/NewscomYURI GRIPAS/REUTERS/NewscomGovernment shutdowns are all the rage in Washington right now. We just had one a few weeks ago. Now, the president is already calling for another.

But while the prospect of shutting down the federal government might sound appealing, the reality of a government shutdown is expensive, wasteful, and therefore counterproductive to fiscal responsibility. The continuous threat of a government shutdown if Congress doesn't enact a budget (or at least a three-week-long continuing resolution) doesn't seem to be creating incentives for better fiscal stewardship. If anything, it's doing the opposite. Restarting the government on Jan. 23 after a three-day shutdown required Congress to authorize an additional $31 billion in borrowing.

Rather than continuing to careen from near-shutdown to actual shutdown and back again, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to force Congress to pass a budget by imposing a penalty that's sure to give most of Washington nightmares: a 1 percent budget cut.

Under the terms of Paul's Government Shutdown Prevention Act, which he introduced last month, Congress would agree to ongoing continuing resolutions that would kick-in if a budget was not passed on time. The catch is that the automatic CR would come with an automatic, across-the-board cut of 1 percent for all government agencies. After 90 days, if there is no budget deal, funding would be reduced by another 1 percent.

"Around here, spending 1 percent less ought to be a enough of a punishment to get people to do their jobs and do appropriations on time," Paul said Tuesday during a hearing on his bill. "We know both sides don't want spending to go down. They're all for more spending."

Historically, Congress has relied heavily on continuing resolutions to keep the government operating in years when budgets are not passed. Since a full budget has been passed only four times in the past 40 years, CRs have become the rule rather than the exception. But as the January shutdown—which ended with the passage of a laughably short 3-week CR and no resolution on any of the underlying issues that caused the impasse in the first place—demonstrated, budgeting on a week-by-week basis is no way to govern.

The current CR will expire on February 8, at which point another government shutdown could occur. President Donald Trump on Tuesday encouraged Republican leaders in Congress to let the government shutdown again, rather than reaching a deal with Democrats on a pathway to citizenship for so-called "Dreamers," illegal immigrants who came to America as children and were given special protected status during the Obama administration. "I'd love to see a shutdown," Trump told reporters on Tuesday.

"Even if there isn't a shutdown and there's the possibility of a shutdown, there's a lot of planning and time that goes into that," said Heather Krause, director of strategic programs for the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog. A proposal like Paul's could help save time and money because government agencies would not have to plan for a possible shutdown. But automatic, across-the-board spending cuts like the 1 percent reduction Paul would include in the automatic CR can be problematic because it "equally cuts good and bad programs, so you're not shifting around to what's effective," she said.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscal policy think tank, supports Paul's proposal but suggested that some Republicans might prefer the automatic CR, with its budget cuts, instead of reaching a new budget deal.

"Would both sides dislike it enough? I think it's important to have something that would bring everyone to the table," she said.

But it's clear that Congress has little incentive to clean up its fiscal mess without a sword dangling over it's collective head. Even if a long-term CR or a budget deal is passed before the next shutdown on March 5, there seems to be no political will to tackle the really serious threats to America's long-term fiscal health—the national debt and entitlement costs chief among them—and leaders of both parties support the removal of what few spending limitations currently exist.

"There's like a handful of people who are for any restraints or budget caps at all anymore," says Paul. "And you're going to find out this week. They're going to blow through all the budgetary caps."

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  • Hugh Akston||

    It's hard to tell when Rand is being serious and when he's just trolling Congress, but I like his style.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Alternate alt-text: "So,this is me on the lawnmower here..."

  • Charles Easterly||

    Alternate alt-text: "So,this is me on the lawnmower here..."

    A link may prove useful for those who are not familiar with the reference, Chipper.

    There is also this: How have you been?

  • Morbo||

    Several months back Rand Paul's neighbor knocked Paul off his lawnmower and beat him, resulting in six fractured ribs. I assume that's what he was referring to.

  • Agammamon||

    Never explain the joke.

  • SamHell||

    Was it even a joke? Maybe it was a dog whistle...

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I can't complain too much. I hope you have also been well. Always good to hear from you, Charles. You are one of the gentlemen commenters.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Genderfied Mathematics teaches us that a 1% reduction in spending inversely creates a 1000% increase in un-safeness.

  • TangoDelta||

    That's it? Only 1,000%. I'm thinking we need something more like a 7.07% cut in order to get it in a more reasonable 500,000% increase in un-safeness.

    Hmm, someone check my math it might only buy us a 50,000% increase and that's clearly not enough.

  • Vernon Depner||

    How 'bout this: if they fail to pass a budget on time, Congress is dismissed and new elections are scheduled. Dismissed members are ineligible to run again.

  • Rich||

    This.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Same as Rand's. Plays to the choir, Would never pass (doubtful it sees the floor). We need REAL policy solutions, and have none, on anything. Voters are READY for even radical change. We've had nearly 50 years, but ....

  • DarrenM||

    We need a constitutional amendment, but we'll probably never see one again. We need first need an amendment to make it easier for the states to propose amendments. 2/3 of legislatures are first required to petition Congress for a convention, then 3/4 to approve proposed amendments that come out of it. I think that 2/3 should be reduced. I don't put much faith in Congress approving an amendment to curtail its own power.

  • silver.||

    I don't fully agree with your method, but I completely agree with your sentiment. The details could be banged out as we go, and of course we're looking at a fantasy anyway... :(

    I would honestly like to see the citizens and congresspeople united on 66% on something. We haven't had that level of unity since 9/11 (thank God for that, at least), and I'd really like to see it during peacetime, because we all know what egregious shit the remorseless assholes on Capitol Hill passed while we were busy grieving.

  • Red Tony||

    We have that, actually. Like 80% of the population agrees that Congress sucks except for their own representative.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Jefferson had it nailed. A Constitution Convention should convene regularly. He was in France for the Constitutional Convention, PISSED that they wanted a "perpetual" constitution. In a lengthy letter to Madison he went back to .... the Declaration and Consent of Governed. He'd clearly thought about it.

    "...no society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs to the living generation. -Thomas Jefferson

    What does THAT mean?

    We cannot be governed by the dead. Each generation must create its own constitution … with "consent of the ACTUAL governed." WHY? The Articles needed replacement after 19 years. That was his metric for a generation (at the time) And no generation should pass debt on to another!!!

    "Every constitution then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years (When the Articles were replaced) . If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right."

    Force? Yep Nailed it. Governed by the consent of the dead ... which is where we are now.

    That may take a while to digest! Do we believe a "just" government can ONLY exist by the consent of the governed? Very difficult to disagree on the PRINCIPLE.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    The fact that the current Amendments we have to the Constitution haven't already been repealed represent some form of consent of the living.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You just gave me your consent to laugh, since you didn't ask me not to,

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Naturally.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Come one, Michael. We all know what you really want: for us to be all governed by the undead.

  • Michael Hihn||

    We all know what you really want: for us to be all governed by the undead.

    Becauise that's what I said!! But that's Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson.
    You missed the critical part, that it's by the CONSENT of the "undead" (Iiving) The people actually being governed! What a concept! Self-governance!!!
    You may, of course, surrender your own need to consent, voluntarily, but only yours
    Give it some thought, eh?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Sorry Michael, I am not gonna let you suck on me.

  • SamHell||

    See now that was a joke, but you wasted it on a miserable sod with no sense of humor.

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    Things are more interesting around here when Hihn is letting lurking

  • Agammamon||

    Wouldn't have done any good - after the first cycle there would have been no agreement on the next Constitution so they'd have just gone back to how the UK does it now.

  • EscherEnigma||

    There's a degree of truth to that, but on a practical level re-writing our government every twenty years is problematic.

    But more laws and policies should have built-in sunset provisions so that, if nothing else, legislators have to rubber-stamp their reapproval. Depending on the nature of the law it may even be appropriate to require a "grace period" between expiration and reapproval so there can be a reasonable assessment if something is actually needed, but drawing a legislative line between which laws require a "grace period" and which are okay to reapprove while still in effect would be... tricky.

    That said, a regular continental congress, every decade or so, probably wouldn't be the worst thing. Especially if a regular part of the continental congress was to draft SCOTUS decisions (or rebuttals to SCOTUS decisions) into proper amendments and send them back to the states for consideration.

    Just take incorporation as an example. It's obvious that the Bill of Rights wasn't intended to limit the states. But beginning in the 1890s and continuing through today we've had SCOTUS decisions that yes, this or that part of the BoR applies. An amendment that said as such would probably be smooth sailing.

    This would of course run the risk of our Constitution becoming bloated with bureaucratic amendments, but frankly I think having more case law explicitly written into things is preferable to having to rely on extensive case law.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The most recent amendment was passed back in the 90s to make it harder for congress to increase it's own salary.

  • Sevo||

    Michael Hihn|2.6.18 @ 7:35PM|#
    "...We need REAL policy solutions, and have none, on anything...."

    Oh, Mike, you bumbling idiot, how would we ever figure out what to do if you didn't show up from time to time and prove humans can be really stupid?

  • Michael Hihn||

    You say we need no policy solutions, no thoughts on getting elected and governing, because a free society will spring from the ground on its own ... somehow.

    I'm a bumbling idiot.
    While you are an accomplice to the state, since you have no interest in changing it. None at all..

    and prove humans can be really stupid

    You did that entirely on your own.

  • Sammi||

    "I'm a bumbling idiot. "

    When you're right you're right, Robert.

  • MoreFreedom||

    The Democrats and most in the GOP think freezing the budget is draconian. Their greed is a huge burden. But at least Paul makes them uncomfortable by showing how ridiculous their budget actions are, and that the RINOs controlling the GOP aren't conservatives. That's helpful in replacing them.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    This really is the only way-- some kind of fundamental organizational priority to finances. The problem is that they would just come up with a way to pass a sham budget.

  • TangoDelta||

    With over a $20 trillion, that's with a "T", debt? A sham budget would be different from what exactly?

    It isn't really a budget when you decide to put everything on the credit card and roll it over every year with a limit increase because you are the credit card company.

    I guess where I'm going is that at some point even the really stupid banks come to the realization that continually upping the credit limit on the card doesn't work because sooner or later the credit card circle jerk simply stops coming and someone, somewhere, is going to say "denied".

  • JFree||

    There are no rules - including their oath of office - that Congress will ever feel bound to obey. That is an inevitable consequence of the proven power of incumbency.

    The only solution is one that will be externally imposed - without their 'authorization' or 'acceptance' - and that obliterates their credibility. An alternative that renders them a joke and any elections they run in a scam. Something that realigns the disconnect between perpetual polls of 'congressional approval' (less than 20% for decades now) with 're-election rates' (over 90% for decades now).

    I can potentially see a 'citizen's assembly' that bird dogs congressional actions and does their job better than they do. That doesn't need political parties to secure office and that can therefore transcend partisan influence. And that is not even in DC (online) so it bypasses the swamp critters. That technically doesn't even need constitutional authorization - so it can simply be 'created'. And over time - gain voter acceptance so voters no longer choose to participate in elections as parties/pols expect them to participate.

    But that sure wouldn't be easy.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Fuck Will of the People
    When we're so blessed with an Authoritarian Right

  • Red Tony||

    See this is almost a good song lyric. I might steal it.

    Fuck Will with the people
    We're all blessed with authoritarian rights

    Yeah, that's better. Thanks Mike!

  • BigT||

    that 1% cut would fall unequally, hitting women and minorities hardest. What a racist, sexist suggestion!

  • Don't look at me.||

    Because they are the weakest? Is that what you are saying?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    And the children! Don't forget about the children! Why does Rand Paul hate children?

  • Raoul Duke||

    He hates his neighbors too. Last I heard he assaulted one for no reason!

  • silver.||

    Ah, this is a great jab at the insidious way that misinformation warps and spreads.

  • TangoDelta||

    Why does it have to hit them? Can't it simply give them a gentle shove out of the way?

  • Jerryskids||

    But while the prospect of shutting down the federal government might sound appealing, the reality of a government shutdown is expensive, wasteful, and therefore counterproductive to fiscal responsibility.

    Bullshit. Shutting down the government isn't the problem, it's re-starting the fucker that costs. Are you aware that most of the world for most of human history got along just fine without a federal government? I'm willing to give that experiment a try here.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Before about 150 years ago, very few humans "got along just fine". Life pretty much sucked for almost everyone, everywhere until quite recently.

  • Phos||

    Nasty, brutish and short. That is the porported description of life 99% of people throughout history.

  • TangoDelta||

    That's the description of life for many people today. Kampuchea would have been a lot nicer place without a government led by Pol Pot. Same goes for Haiti with Doc & Doc Jr. I hear Mugabe wasn't exactly the brightest spark. I understand the drug/war lords are taking over the oil refineries in some places with the support of corrupt police/military as I type. Meh, plus ça change.

  • gormadoc||

    These places weren't good without government either.

  • Agammamon||

    So, with or without government they're a shithole - but without government there's slightly fewer people stealing your money at gunpoint?

  • Sevo||

    "Before about 150 years ago, very few humans "got along just fine". Life pretty much sucked for almost everyone, everywhere until quite recently."

    yes, and what does that have to do with a federal government?

  • Juice||

    Sounds like an incentive to jack the budget up at least 10% every year as insurance.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    10 steps forward, 1 step back.

  • What's that smell?||

    Instead of cuts across the board the cuts should be in the cost of congress. Their pay. staffing budget, franking privilege, etc. 5% every 60 days and to remain at the rate when a budget is passed until a national referendum on the issue restores part or all of the monies. With NO increases allowed.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Eh. Ironically, cutting congressional pay and staff just incentivizes them to be more corrupt. Take out their staffers and they'll end up relying on lobbyists to provide analysis and research. Take our their own pay and stipends and they'll have a harder time with living in DC and getting back home to constituents, meaning that either you're pricing out more folks from running for office, or you're making them rely (again) on lobbyists more to help provide such things.

    So your head's in the right place, but I think that suggestion would backfire.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Truth.

    I think you might need something that would kick the members of the cherry committees out and replace them with Junior members if there's no budget. Not a fan of forced anything as people should be smart enough to pick better candidates, but in they end they're all kaka.

  • Michael Hihn||

    How many votes is that likely to get in Congress?

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    More than you'll get

  • Michael Hihn||

    How many votes is that likely to get in Congress?

    More than you'll get

    More votes than Thomas Jefferson? Wanna bet?

    http://reason.com/blog/2018/02.....nt_7124358

  • Sevo||

    Mike, FFS, learn to link or simply admit you are incompetent.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Mike, FFS, learn to link or simply admit you are incompetent

    The link works fine. Try clicking it again.

    I've been a web site designer since 1993.

  • Sammi||

    Sure you have Robert.

  • Vernon Depner||

    They don't care much about their pay. It's pocket change compared to what they hope to make from having been in Congress.

  • silver.||

    My out-of-my-ass number is that the average value of a congressperson is worth $1million. Here's an article to add some substance to my bullshit.

    Now, I have every reason to believe that these numbers are about as accurate as Putin's financial statements, which literally suggest that he's a working-class dude when he's very possibly the wealthiest man on the planet. US entities (and indeed, Putin) were suspiciously absent from the Panama/Paradise Papers, and pulling some more numbers out of my ass, I wanna say 70% of the documents will never be released. America is the most powerful country in the world, and some small-time investigative paper in Germany would be unwise to pick a fight with its leaders.

    This completely excludes campaign contributions which we all know is a major pipeline for crony kickbacks. Charities like the Clinton Foundation let the elite indirectly funnel wealth to the politicians in exchange for laws/regulations that will earn their ventures more money. America has reached full-tilt aristocracy, and I don't have a clue how to fix it.

  • Sevo||

    "Now, I have every reason to believe that these numbers are about as accurate as Putin's financial statements, which literally suggest that he's a working-class dude when he's very possibly the wealthiest man on the planet."

    He's been learning from Buffett.

  • Agammamon||

    Send Congress back to the States - let the States directly fund their Representatives and Senators.

  • Michael Hihn||

    BACK to the states?

  • Red Tony||

    It's called the 17th Amendment, fucker. Repeal that bitch like we cockslapped the 18th. Right up your ass.

    Now I'm speaking your language, Mikey.

    (snort)

    ((giggle))

    f(left) ≤ 0 ≤ g(right)

  • EscherEnigma||

    I like the proposal. Go for it.

    That said...

    But it's clear that Congress has little incentive to clean up its fiscal mess without a sword dangling over it's collective head.


    C'mon. You got so close. You clearly had the Sword of Damocles in mind when you wrote that. Why stop short of saying the name?

  • Brad W||

    The inability of people to finish proper turns of phrase has become a very fraught situation.

  • DarrenM||

    I blame the school system.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    "The inability of people to finish proper turns of phrase has become a very fraught situation an epidermis."

    Fixed.

  • silver.||

    I love stuff like that, but I'm actively trying to avoid clichés/idioms to make my writing more interesting. I also had a very eclectic calc professor who always broke down his idioms to explain to the 2 brown kids in the class (who didn't have the heart to tell him that they were born here because he was being so sincere if not a little racist). "The cat's out of the bag - oh, sorry Darub, it means that something has already been discovered, so there's no point in hiding it anymore." Just adorable. He also had just adopted a daughter from Moldova, so he was probably in the mindset of teaching a youngin'.

    On the one hand, writing is meant to relay information, so accessibility should be paramount, and turns of phrase are well-known among most English speakers even if their education was incomplete. On the other, I can easily discover that I've written an entire essay using idioms, and they are probably difficult to read for folks fluent in English but aren't US natives. My relatives were educated in a British private school in Pakistan, and they're beautiful writers, but they didn't have a good grasp of colloquial American English until they came Stateside. They used British spellings and structures and even had British accents.

  • EscherEnigma||

    *ahem*

    How are we supposed to combat the Sword of Damocles if we refuse to call it by what it really is?

    That said, while I get your point, there's a middle ground between eschewing all idioms and speaking in memes and emoticons.

  • Tony||

    At what point during this plan does Rand Paul orally service Trump? Or is that just a routine, everyday thing that happens before cheeseburgers-in-bedtime?

    In other news, a baby unveils its plan to solve government forever: more fingerpaints and peekaboo.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Now that I see it your way I know exactly what to do

  • Don'tTreadOnMeChipper||

    So witty. Do you have a newsletter?

  • Sevo||

    He's the EDITOR!
    It's the "River Pines Gated Community Dog-Walker's Weekly", dealing with the areas where your dog can poop and what local cafes allow your pooch; Tony's definition of "investigative reporting"!
    The fucking asshole shows up here out of drunken desperation in the hopes of justifying his pathetic existence.

  • Tony||

    Just the Stop Supporting Morons and Their Ideas Weekly.

  • Sammi||

    Funny how you can't take your own advice.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Add in the addition that each 1% across the board cut comes with a corresponding 1% across the board income tax increase every 90 days until the budget is balanced.

  • Libertarian||

    With a 1% cut every 90 days, my back-of-the-envelope calculations show that in just 25 years, we will reach libertarianirvana.

  • Phos||

    I see your 90 days per 1% and raise you a 2 week, double the previous percentage (based on the baseline, not the deflated amount.)

    After one month each department must be approved or disbanded separately.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Simply elect a Congress to do so! We'd have to amend the Constitution, of course. None of which would ever be approved by voters.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Hrm...

    On one hand, I don't like that kind of across-the-board increase, but it might be necessary to keep certain politicians from gaming it until they get the cuts they want.

    But you would probably need a provision about IRS instructions such that people do see it come out of their take-home pay, rather then just being an April shocker the next year. That way even if congress later rolls back the tax increase, folks still got that "sticker shock" moment and pressured their representatives.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It would even out pretty quick as taxes would increase at a faster rate than spending would decrease.

    I don't know if this is the underlying point you were trying to get at or if you just like taxes or something, but I do think that people bitch about spending, but most of them do not care about them in any meaningful way. As in, most people might say to cut spending, but they would be against any specific cuts. And I think some realization needs to happen there on the part of the public.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Meant at Stormy.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I mostly wanted to offer the contrast to point out the rather self-serving nature of Paul's "since I can't get anything done, how about a system where I get what I want automatically!" proposal

  • Stormy Dragon||

    That said, I guess I do support some tax increases, since I think the bill passed in December was a huge mistake.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Why is that?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    1.) I'd be okay with reducing corporate tax rates in a revenue neutral manner, but not while also making massive personal cuts.
    2.) Cutting revenue when you know you plan to increase spending on the military, border enforcement, etc. means you're deliberately choosing to devalue the dollar
    3.) Emperically all of the tax cuts since 1981 have resulted in economic contractions and reversing them has resulted in economic recoveries, so we appear to be around some point of maximal efficiency with regards to taxation.
    4.) For all their talk about fiscal responsibility, W exploded the deficit, which then went down gradually over Obama, and now Trump is exploding it again.

  • Sevo||

    "3.) Emperically all of the tax cuts since 1981 have resulted in economic contractions and reversing them has resulted in economic recoveries, so we appear to be around some point of maximal efficiency with regards to taxation."

    Taxation reduces the general wealth of mankind, since it is NOT a free transaction, so you are going to need some real robust data to support your claim that gravity has been reversed.
    Let's see it.

  • Sammi||

    "Emperically"

    Don't use words you can't spell, especially when you're trying to bolster your point with them.

    But hey, the I is nowhere near the e, and autocorrect wouldn't do that either, so I'm interested to see how you absolve yourself of responsibility.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Your right, I misspelled a word.

    Clearly this is a tragedy on a level that has never occurred before in human civilization. We shall be lucky if humanity is able to survive it.

  • Sammi||

    No, it's irrefutable evidence that you don't bother to actually learn the details, down to the words you use.

    I'm supposed to take seriously someone who can't be bothered to learn how the word is spelled, when they attempt to use it to bolster their point?

    It says much about you that you think that, then turn into a snarky brat when it is pointed out to you.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'm supposed to take seriously someone who can't be bothered to learn how the word is spelled, when they attempt to use it to bolster their point?
    Um, yes?

    Most people learn new words in one of two ways: they hear them, or they read them. If they hear them, it may become a part of their lexicon without them ever seeing the word in print, or at least not seeing it until well after it's been incorporated into their lexicon.

    If they see them first, then the reverse can happen. They can spell and use the word correctly, but when you listen to them pronounce it you have to stop and figure out what the hell they're saying.

    Neither one reflects one way or the other on the quality of the thought being expressed.

    And that's before we even talk about things like Dyslexia, poor typists, or that the English language is really fucking weird.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Taking a WAG at numbers, 2016 had total revenues of $2.99 trillion with total spending of $3.54 trillion.

    Assuming that 1% tax increases and 1% spending cuts hit both columns equally† and that the 1% cut/growth are compounding‡, it would take 2 years and 3 months of no budget for them to equalize. Taxes would have been raised nine times and budgets cut nine times, for a final real percentage change of tax increase 9.37% and budget decrease of 8.65%.
    ________
    †Which isn't quite true. While most revenues are taxes, not all are. And the cuts probably wouldn't hit entitlement spending. But we're roughing out numbers here.
    ‡Which may not be true. they could always index the increase/decrease to the rates of the last passed budget.

  • LynchPin1477||

    1% of zero is still zero, and there are lots of people who don't pay any net income tax.

    Now, a 10% per month increase in income taxes on congress people....

  • Vitae Drinker||

    So that means that the ~50% who don't pay federal taxes will start to do so?

  • Agammamon||

    You can label a 1,000,000% increase on someone who pays $0 and you'll get $0 when you do so.

  • Pat001||

    The Federal government "shuts down" on every Federal holiday.

  • Michael Hihn||

    And every weekend, for most of it.

  • Juice||

    Hey, has anyone's paycheck withholdings gone down? I hear people talking about it and I expected mine to, but it didn't move a penny. Maybe because I live in Maryland?

  • Juice||

    Wait. Just double checked. My take home pay actually decreased by a few dollars. Fuck. I guess it's because I'm in Maryland. Thanks a lot. Ugh, I need to move back into DC.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Does your paycheck not have a breakdown on the deductions? You should be able to see an itemized list of what increased or decreased.

    That said, even without taxes changing you would probably expect to see a decrease because health insurance always increases.

    And that said, I though the IRS hadn't gotten the new W-2 guidance out yet? I recall that they'd sent out a work-in-progress thing, but I can imagine a large number of payroll offices saying "no, we're not recalculating things for this paycheck when we're going to have to do it in two weeks again".

  • Michael Hihn||

    Healt insurance premiums can change with the CONTRACT year, not the calendar year, And that varies with each group.

  • Braunasaurus||

    Damn it Paul people will die

  • Don't look at me.||

    Screw that.
    10%

    A day.

  • Sevo||

    The man's SERIOUS!

  • LynchPin1477||

    I predict that even if passed, this will enforce as much spending control as debt ceilings.

  • DarrenM||

    Nice idea, but who would vote for it? If voters don't care about the debt, elected officials won't either.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's definitely just showing off. It has 0% chance of anything happen. Every politician plays to its constituency and fans, and this is Paul doing that.

  • Crusty Juggler||

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Evil businesses are ruining society

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    You return to us with that trash?

    Goddamn you, sir.

  • ellascottgm123||

    I hear people talking about it and I expected mine to, but it didn't move a penny. Maybe because I live in Maryland? geometry dash

  • Morbo||

    This is more coherent than anything Hihn has posted for the last seven years.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Jefferson had it nailed long ago. If you missed HIS view while scrolling down, give it a look and consider adding your comment(s).

    http://reason.com/blog/2018/02.....nt_7124358

  • Sevo||

    Mike, fuck you and your inability to link to anything other than a random page. You, you despicable retard, are giving old farts an undeserved bad name.
    Hint: Mike is considered what should be kept in the attic even among old farts.
    Buzz off, Mike. Go embarrass yourself elsewhere.

  • Sammi||

    Sevo, I hate to break it to you man, but that's how everyone feels about you too.

  • Sevo||

    Sammi, I hate to break it to you, but you're full of shit.
    Fuck off.

  • Sammi||

    That certainly proved me wrong.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Sieve-o the sockpuppet was sent here to spread looterism alongside Tony. Bad enough that Hihn rises to the bait occasionally, as is his right. But there really is little to be gained by arguing with mystics.

  • Sammi||

    Jefferson was fantastic and I'd love it if you could expound on his ideas, Robert, then live through a grease fire.

  • Art Gecko||

    Sadly, the only people in DC who want to spend more than the "big-government liberals" are the "small-government conservatives." We're hosed.

  • tlapp||

    Amen to that!

  • Don'tTreadOnMeChipper||

    Serious question: how could have our founders anticipated and prevented the federal overreach we currently live with? I know they tried their best, but ultimately failed miserably. So what do you suggest might have improved the situation?

  • Jima||

    I think they were looking at the Second Amendment as a partial solution to this, you know, watering the tree of liberty with the blood of corrupt politicians or some such...

  • Don'tTreadOnMeChipper||

    I don't disagree, but I think that the threat of violence from the citizens was intended for extreme situations. It was really more of a deterrent, don't you agree, given the challenge of organizing resistance to any federal force? And ultimately, such an extreme solution is vulnerable to gradual attack that doesn't present a force to oppose. I think they had intended for other measures to inhibit the ability to pervert and grow the federal government, such as the high bar for amending the constitution. But the powers and influences within both the Congress and the Executive allowed the worst to happen. It seems we have had a failure of the branches of government truly honoring their charges and not only countering one another, but also honoring the intent of the constitution. Is it possible to do better? How?

  • Tony||

    No no, obviously the only solution is to try to murder your political opponents.

    When you lose again this time, will you be a good little conquered people and stop trying to fuck this country up in the future?

  • Sammi||

    You first.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Eh, there's something to be said for pistols at dawn.

    I mean, it always amuses me when folks talk about horrible partisan and hostile and so-on congress is. And it's like "seriously? We used to have congressmen literally trying to kill each other and you think a little harsh words is the worst congress has ever been?"

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Second Amendment protects nuclear weapons too, albeit not as concealed carry. If Washington keeps insisting that Communist Manifesto plank 2 (13A) is more important than the Bill of Rights, there is always the chance that creating a deep harbor might work where draining the swamp failed. But spoiler votes leveraging the parasitical greed of both looter parties got us those bad laws and amendments in the first place. Spoiler votes can get rid of them now that 3% finally realize the choice is between being looted by lampreys or voting Libertarian.

  • tlapp||

    A hard cap on % of GDP for the federal government that can only be overridden if we are being attacked by an enemy.

  • CE||

    Could have stayed with the Articles of Confederation.

  • Sevo||

    It was an experiment, and there were no precedents to help, so I have a hard time griping at their efforts.
    I would say that the move toward direct democracy was the approximate cause, and I don't think Wilson's executive over-reach was simply coincidental with the adoption of A-17.
    But once that was the condition, dissembling bumblers like FDR could play the crowd for all it was worth. And for all the harm to the rest of us.
    I would suggest moves away from mob rule; for example, any tax increases requires a popular vote with a 3/4 majority required for passage.

  • Agammamon||

    some Republicans might prefer the automatic CR, with its budget cuts, instead of reaching a new budget deal.

    "Would both sides dislike it enough? I think it's important to have something that would bring everyone to the table," she said.

    If the Republicans hate it, it will bring them to the negotiating table - mission accomplished.

    If the hate it then the government is forced to shrink by 1% every 90 days - mission accomplished.

    There's no way for us to lose.

  • tlapp||

    Yes, not making a choice then becomes a choice that not only avoids the foolishness of a shutdown but results in real progress.
    That's why it will never pass. What a shame.

  • Pat001||

    During a shutdown safety of the traveling public might be compromised. For example, Amtrak trains might crash. Oh wait...

  • SovereignMary||

    Love it ..... Love it .... Love it! Rand Paul has a truly genius idea!

  • CE||

    Why eliminate the shutdowns? Make them permanent.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Randal Paul single-handedly gives the rusty-coathanger wing of God's Own Prohibitionist party what little credibility it has for cross-dressing as fiscal conservatives.

  • CGN||

    The GD government needs to be cut at ALL levels. WAY too much money is being spent, and quite a lot of it is simply 100% waste.

  • Crypto||

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