Colorado philosopher Rick Raddatz says 'Checks and Balances' can heal our country financially.
To overcome the debt crisis, Raddatz suggests we look to our founding fathers for inspiration -- in the form of checks and balances.
Our founding fathers faced the exact same issue we are facing today and they nailed the solution. said Raddatz. Our founding fathers had to get greed and political ambition under control. How is government spending any different? It's not different. It's greed and political ambition all over again. So maybe all we have to do is ask ourselves a simple question: 'What would our founding fathers do?'
So, what would our founding fathers do?
Raddatz suggests that every fifth-grader knows the answer: Checks and Balances
We've all heard the phrase 'Checks and Balances'. said Raddatz, But what are check and balances? A 'check' is an artificial cap or limit. A 'balance' is when you force two or more sides to compete transparently. That would suggest that the answer to out-of-control government spending is to combine a spending cap with a more transparent way for the political parties to compete over spending priorities. Could it be that simple? Yes.
Inspired by the checks and balances concept, Raddatz proposes a constitutional amendment called Cap-and-Grade. Cap-and-Grade combines a spending cap with a requirement that congress prioritize all spending in public, using a hundred-point grading scale.
Cap-and-Grade is simple. The cap forces Congress to compete over priorities. The priority-grading makes that competition transparent. explains Raddatz.
It makes sense that political right would support a spending cap -- that's their official position. But would forcing congress to prioritize spending in public really be enough to make the political left happy?
Raddatz says 'yes' because transparency in government favors left-leaning goals and a focus on results.
If we require congress to prioritize spending in public, the transparency will force congress to prioritize good intentions above greedy intentions and good results above poor results. said Raddatz, The result is a transparent marketplace of ideas -- a constantly improving charitable economy powered by our desire to help others.
In other words, Cap-and-Grade is designed to break the political deadlock in Washington by making a traditional spending cap appealing to left-leaning voters without weakening the cap.
With Cap-and-Grade there's something for everyone. said Raddatz, The political right gets a very limited government; the political left gets a very progressive government; and the political center gets a government that is both fiscally and socially mature.