Should American citizens vote directly on big issues in the federal budget? A new poll shows that most of us want that authority.
Over the weekend, we narrowly averted a partial government shutdown, putting off the next turnoff date to this Friday. The cost or benefit (depending on your point of view) was $2 billion more in spending cuts. It’s a strange budgeting process. Almost week by week, Republicans demand 2X in cuts, negotiators settle on X, and the shutdown is delayed a bit more.
Maybe we can do better than this run-and-shoot process. How about holding nationwide referendums on the big budget decisions? Proposals to raise taxes, privatize Medicare, or raise the age for Social Security—all would require a vote. It’s a farfetched idea, but would you support it?
Almost seven in ten Americans “feel any proposed changes to Medicare and Social Security should be approved by a vote of the American people,” according to a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports a few days ago. About six in ten say that any increase in federal income taxes should be approved by a vote as well.
What do you think of the current budgeting process in Washington?
Does it have the best interests of Americans at heart?
How about your best interests?
Could we do better by voting directly on the big budget decisions?
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(Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.)