Sunday, September 28, 2008

Line Item Veto

With all the political talk about the United States runaway budget spending, why does nobody revisit the concept of giving the President of the United States the Line Item Veto?

Imagine the president having the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress and being able to approve the bill for topic of the legislation while being able to line out the unrelated pork spending projects.

All but seven states grant their Governors some level of this power and it helps eliminate the ridiculous items that individual politicians attach to important bills. If the president could do this it would help stop many of the earmarks.

The Congress hates this idea, as they use earmarks like their own personal magic wand. Without this they could not get the government to pay for stupid unnecessary projects for their own districts. Often the president is held hostage to sign legislation or look like he is rejecting the main topic of the bill.

If Congress cannot deliver the free cash, then they would need to do a better job in their roles in Washington DC. Pork is the easy path to re-election.

I think Barak Obama or John McCain should make this a big deal before the election and put Congress on the spot that whomever wins the election - it is NOT business as usual.

But much like the Electoral College will never be changed (small states would never ratify the changes that many people want because it would strip them of their importance in the presidential election process) - no congressman or congresswoman will ever pass the Line Item Veto, even if the people want it. It takes away their own power.

I do think that one of the candidates could gain a lot of attention if they took on this cause, as it would make a lot of people say "YEAH!". But they would risk making their own parties mad at them, since it is really Congress that has the control, not the President - - But shhhhhhhh nobody seems to know that. Certainly the party leaders do not want anyone to look behind the curtain.

Have A Great Day.


Update: Apparently this was deemed unconstitutional in 1996 and affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1998. Clinton was the only president to ever enjoy limited Line Item Veto via the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, and used it 11 times to strike out 82 items from the federal budget. The Line Item Veto could be implemented by a constitutional amendment. I still love the concept of Line Item Veto. ***Thank you to Ryan G for the email explaining this to me.

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