Everyone knows that politicians take more pledges than a frat house during Rush Week.
So let’s ask ’em all to take one more:
“If elected, I will return each year to the Treasury my family’s share of the National Debt, except during a time of war, or in any year where Congress passes and the President signs, a budget with a surplus.”
Copy this succinct little sucker and email it to your local candidates! Ask them to sign on.
Think how many Republicans took Grover Norquist’s “no taxes” pledge. (In the 112th Congress, 236 House members and 41 Senators have taken the pledge.)
Consider this pledge Version 2 of the Norquist Pledge. Some folks have issues with Norquist’s approach, arguing, “It asks politicians to outsource your principles and convictions,” as former Florida Gov Jeb Bush put it.
Not so this pledge: it puts politicians’ money in the same purse or wallet as their principles and convictions. (Another carefully parsed analogy, by the way.)
Let’s hope this idea catches on. If candidates step up, there would be no need for a constitutional amendment, a US law, or even a Congressional rule to require what we’re proposing here, although all three of these would be completely legitimate and legal approaches.
Congress has become so bad at managing our affairs that current members should offer to repay their family’s share retroactively from their first day in the hallowed halls, exempting those years of declared war (none in office would be so affected) or a balanced budget. Maybe that will be Version 3.