Let's have term limits for our Congressional Representatives if they fail to produce a reasonable budget and projected revenue. By "reasonable" I mean to say that Congress should have definite goals for the size of the federal budget (currently $3.7 trillion dollars), and the tax revenue base ($ 2.2 trillion dollars), leaving a budget deficit of $1.5 billion dollars. This is equal to $5000 for every man woman and child in America ($1,500,000,000,000 divided by 300 million persons) by the way, and is clearly unsustainable.
So what we ought to do is to have our legislators legislate that they will shrink the deficit by a certain amount each year. In other words, we have to work with our legislators to introduce a bill and get it passed by both the House and Senate--not an easy thing to do. But we did have bill years ago, called the Graham Rudman act which everyone hated because it highlighted just how idiotic Congress really is. The problem is that Congress just ignored it. So I'm proposing something that they can not ignore.
So, if Congress finds that they just have too many juicy appropriations that they can't pass up, that's okay. BUT THEY WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR RE-ELECTION! You pass a budget that exceeds what we can actually afford, we're going to quit rewarding you by re-electing you sorry people. Here's a handshake, we'll pin a medal on your chest, NOW GET OUT!
As a rough estimate, a deficit reduction of about $200 billion dollars per year, would result in balancing the budget in about 7 years.
But what if there is an unusual economic situation, and economists on both sides of the aisle agree that the right answer is to increase spending? Well that's fine too. If they can get a two/thirds majority in both Houses, they could modify the targets.
I don't see what was so wrong about the late 1990's and early 2000's when we had a balanced budget, tax revenue of over 20% and economic growth at 5% per year. We have now overspent on wars, expansion of the medical establishment and who knows what else, and now the extremists from both sides are demanding that we hand the economy over to them.
Well, too much spending is bad and not enough taxation is also bad. Let's set a goal of returning to the levels that resulted in a stable, growing economy. And let's be willing to fire a few politicians if they won't help.