The House is Where the Budget Begins

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Our system of government rests, in theory, on checks and balances among three “co-equal” branches of government. The whole point is to distribute power such that no one branch, or, um, individual, can amass too much power.

Having one political party control two, if not three, of those branches, especially when the only principle the Party values is loyalty to the Party, badly undermines the checking and balancing function that the separate branches is supposed to achieve. The Republicans easily passed their stupid, irresponsible, unnecessary tax cut because they controlled both Houses of Congress, the legislative branch, and had installed a moronic, compliant president who knows nothing about policy as head of the executive branch.

Happily, the Party of Party loyalty above all else has now lost control of the House of Representatives. Republicans controlled it in December, when the late shut down began because the president decided on a whim (how does he decide anything?) to insist on an arbitrary dollar amount for his idiotic wall.

There is no hope of explaining this subtle point to Trump, who apparently does not understand the point of a constitution at all, much less the specifics of our Constitution, but Article I, Section 7, paragraph 1 of the United States Constitution states, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

There are multiple reasons for the decision to allocate seats in the House of Representatives by population, but allot two seats to every state in the Senate (the goal was never majority rule in the federal government as a whole). Part of the logic is the expectation that the House will be more directly responsive to the will of the people than the Senate. Two year terms adds to this effect. The House is the only component of the federal government that operates on the principle of majority rule.

President Trump was very vocal about his stupid wall while he was running. He lost the popular vote, winning only because of the archaic, now obviously incompetent electoral college. Two years later, voters turned out in droves to drive his Party from control of the more popular of the two Houses of Congress. The wall itself was not a driving issue during the 2018 election, which suggests that most people don’t really care about it, but when the more popular branch of government, where revenue bills must originate, refuses to provide funds for the pet project of a president who took office despite losing the popular vote, that amounts to a very strong argument that the wall is not only a really bad idea on its face, it is one most people in the United States do not want to pursue.

Yet, being a mindless, bull headed pig, Trump persists.

Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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