Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution reads:
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
Unless, of course, they don’t really feel like it. Congress has borrowed the Obama administration’s ideas-that-suck generator and have come up with the notion to just farm-out their responsibilities in budgetary matters
The awful idea is for Congress to divest itself of the core competence that the Constitution vests in it -- the power to make the taxing and spending choices that shape the nation. This power would be given to an 18-member panel assigned to solve the budgetary crisis.
Under legislation drafted by Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H., and endorsed by 33 other senators, the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action would be composed of 16 members of Congress (four each selected by the House speaker and minority leader, and the Senate majority and minority leaders) plus the Treasury secretary and someone the president selects. The panel would propose spending cuts and tax increases to put the government on a glide path to solvency. The menu of proposals would be guaranteed an up-or-down vote -- no amendments permitted -- in both houses of Congress.
George Will suggests that an idea, especially a bad one, is bested only by monetary incentives, so he proposes the following amendment to the Gregg-Conrad legislation:
"During the life of this task force, which will perform Congress's fundamental duties, all senators and representatives will be considered on vacation and will not be paid. If the task force's recommendations are accepted by Congress, there will be no congressional pay until 2050."
Can we see a show of hands in favor?
KT has more on the subject here.