Ideas to Save America: 

1. Line Item Vote

Richard Salbato, 3 - 15 - 2010

I am now confident that Constitutional Freedom Loving Americans will win back most of the House and Senate this November, and if we do the right things quickly we will completely take over in November of 2012.  However, we must not be complacent and work hard for the next two and a half years.

We must also come up with radical Ideas that can turn this economy around and put everyone back to work.  If we swallow the lie by Democrats and Republicans that we will not increase the National Debt, we will fail because it is already unsustainable.  If we promise to not raise Taxes, we will fail because our tax is already too high for growth at 52% of GDP. 

We must reduce the debt to Zero, and the size of State and Federal Governments by another 50% immediately, down to 26% of GDP and then finally to 20% of GDP as soon as possible - which is the National average up to 1960 when all Federal, State and county governments started to grow out of control.

If we Freedom Loving Americans do not have real ideas (not slogans) we will not win this war.  I have read the long list of what the Tea Party people want of their candidates and these are all great but they do not spell out how this gets done.  I will write ideas for Social Security, Medical, Medicare, DC spending, Unconstitutional Departments of Government, Unconstitutional Union Contracts, Worthless Government Departments, New Science that would change Government costs, Reducing Education costs by 50% and making it better, Improving our Military with less cost, Election Funding and Costs, Revamping Court System, Cutting cost of Criminal Detention System, Fraud in all government programs, term limits, and on and on. But let us start with one idea that would affect all the above.

Line Item Vote

Voters and Presidents have tried to get a line item veto for Presidents for the past 40 years, but Congressmen refused to give up this power to one person.  To understand Congressional Power, you must understand how congress works and why it has a 13% approval rating.  Where those 13% of stupid people come from, I do not know.  To understand congress you have to read the rules and regulations that have evolved over the past 100 years.  Then you have to spend time watching C-Span and actually see Congress work. It will make you sick.

It starts with the stupidity of how bills get to the floor so that someone can vote on it.  Then hours of speeches are allowed before a vote can be made.  Then everyone has to come to the floor to vote, even if they have to fly in from their own state, or be carried in from a hospital bed. 

The leadership of the house or senate decides what bill can be voted on and when it is ready to be voted on. In the case of this coming 2,400 page Health Care bill, it will be voted on in the house before anyone has a chance to read it or even before it is priced so that voters know what it will cost.  That is because Pelosi will bring it to the floor when she knows she has the votes and will not take a chance that someone will change their mind at the last minute.  She also knows it they read the full 2,400 page bill they will not vote for it. 

Although they do allow speakers from both sides to speak on the floor for equal time, and we watch them spout off on C-Span, these talks are meaningless and a useless waist of time.  What C-Span does not show on TV is that during these speeches no one is in the house or senate to listen to them.

Because of the huge and time consuming way of voting on any bill, over the years bills have gone from single bills to the so-called “COMPREHENSIVE BILLS”.  Then comprehensive bills have evolved into the methods for congressman to be bribed by special interest groups and huge government expansion.  “Comprehensive Bills” is the number one problem of the expansion of government size, fraud and corruption. 

 Now let us look at a typical bill before congress.  Let us take the least controversial bill, the funding of the military budget. Each year when they vote on this it is a big deal because it is 4% of the total federal budget each year. Each branch of the military submits its needs and wants and all this is compiled into one bill that congressmen can vote for or against. 

Included in the last military budget was hundreds of millions of dollars for cargo transit aircraft that the military did not want. They were included because these were made by companies in congressmen’s districts and these companies paid millions of dollars to campaign treasuries. 

Included also was millions for clean up of Florida state beaches in a congressman’s district.  Those are only two cases of millions of dollars of wasted spending included in this bill.  Most congressmen, if they could vote idem by idem, would not have voted for these stupid things, but they are only allowed to vote for or against the entire bill.

Now let us look at the yearly federal budget that this year went 1,700,000,000,000 over budget (just one year).  Congressmen cannot say, I agree with this but not that; they can only vote yes or no.  Not even the congressmen have any idea where this money is going even if they did read the bill and no one could ever read it.  Included in this bill are 60 year old departments of the government that no longer do anything but have continuous funding simply because no one pays any attention to them.

Would 51 Senators vote for Farm Subsidies that pays farmers for not growing something, if it was not part of a larger bill that they have to vote for or the government stops all together?  Think about the so-called transparency that Obama promised on the latest Health Care Bill.  He posted 40 pages of explanations of what the bill says and expects us to believe this is the truth of the 1,400 pages.  The fact is that there are things in this bill that have nothing to with health care but instead with School Loans.

I was and still am against the bail out of the banks, but if each and every item of spending was voted on separately, it might not have all the fraud it has now.

I was and still am against the Trillion Dollar Stimulus Plan but if the spending was voted on idem by idem it might have helped the economy.  Instead we read everyday of the fraud.

Objections to the Line Item Vote

The first objection to the line item vote is that congressmen would spend all their time voting in the system we have now.  That is true.  We have to change the system of voting.  Why do Congressmen and Senators have to go to the floor to vote and why are there time limits for votes? 

With modern technology they can vote from anywhere in the world on their lap top or cell phone and this can be tamper proof.  Why is there a time limit for voting?  What is the difference if you vote today and I vote tomorrow?  A week to vote on simple items or a month on complex ones is more reasonable.  Why would former Senator Kennedy have to be carried into the Senate to vote on something, when he could have voted from his hospital bed?  

This would evolve over time to something I am passionate about, and that is getting congress out of Washington all together.  I will write about that later.

The next objection is that every idea by any congressmen would have to be voted on so that amendments would not be needed.  This is true but it would require 51 votes and if 51 people did not bother to read and vote yes on it, it would not pass and become law. 

The next objection is that less and less legislation would pass and that is true but would be good.

Their biggest objection is something they will never say out loud and it is the special favors they add into bills for their states or their campaign financers, businesses or unions.  Only two senators would vote for a bridge to nowhere in Alaska if everyone could vote on this separately. 

This one idea would eliminate most campaign finance fraud, special interests and stupid spending.

Best of all, congressmen would have to read each and every item of the budget and be accountable to voters for how they voted.  I can imagine a town hall meeting where someone asks his Senator:

“You voted for continuing funding for the Department of French Relations.  What does that department do?”

“Ah, I have no idea.”

“You voted for continuing funding for the Department of Energy. It was founded in 1977 TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.  It costs us $24.2 Billion a year with 16,000 Federal Employees plus 100,000 Contract Employees.  Our dependence on foreign oil has gone up every year since.  What is this department doing?  Why did you vote to continue it and even increase its budget?”

“I don’t know what they do.”


Only with the line item vote can we hold them accountable for their votes.   Without the line item vote they say: “I did not like that item but I had to vote for it because of the other things.”

Richard Salbato