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Budget Crises – Are We Still a Democracy?

February 28, 2013

The title is deliberately provocative and the answer is “yes.” But we are also very dysfunctional democracy. As E.J. Dionne points out in an article in the Washington Post, the solution to the repeated budget crises is, among other things, more democracy " let bills come to a vote in both House and Senate.

The solution to the problems of democracy is more democracy, so let both houses hold votes on all the potential remedies — on Obama’s own proposal, on packages put forward by Democrats Chris Van Hollen in the House and Patty Murray in the Senate, and on anything the Republicans care to proffer, including the sequester itself.

Let the House Republican majority show that it can come up with a substantial alternative or, failing that, allow a plan to pass with a mix of Republican and Democratic votes.

In the Senate, ditch the unconstitutional abuse of the filibuster and let a plan pass by simple-majority vote. Misuse of the filibuster is a central cause of Washington’s contorted policymaking. Let’s end the permanent budget crisis by governing ourselves though the majorities that every sane democracy uses.

From → Economics, Politics

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