Govt deficits – prevention is cheaper than repetition


Christopher Houseman

Courtesy of the Blazing Torches blog, I notice that the Germans are less than happy to be faced with the latest pay-as-you-go instalment to rent Greek membership of the Euro – and I can’t say I blame them.

The following is reproduced in an expanded form courtesy of a Facebook poster.

Given that the majority of my countrymen still can’t bear the thought of life without a “democratic” state to pick everybody else’s pockets on their behalf, I suggest a simple solution to prevent a repetition of this crisis once we’re out of the current mess.

A new law which stipulates that if, in any given year in peacetime, government debt exceeds 35 per cent of national income in the previous year, the following sanctions will apply. [Apparently, British governments consistently fail to raise more than about 38 per cent of national income in taxes regardless of who they are or what laws they pass].

– MP’s to face loss of pension rights, expulsion from parliament, and personal hereditary financial liability for voting in excess spending and/or failing to initiate and support a vote of no confidence in the government of the day. MP’s liability shall be limited to the excess over the debt ceiling, divided by the total number of MPs who voted in favour of the offending expenditure.

– Govt ministers to face the above plus charges of treason for carrying out such reckless borrowing.

– MP’s and ministers to face the Govt ministerial penalties described above if they try to provoke or vote for a war in order to evade the provisions of this law. Guilt to be established by publication of diaries, emails, letters, state documents, phone call transcripts, etc. followed by a referendum. Since they claim to speak for the nation in such matters, MP’s can likewise answer to the entire nation by this means. What could be more “democratic”?

By hereditary liability I mean that MPs’ descendants will inherit any outstanding financial liability on the death of any political leader convicted under the above law. Our children will all inherit these debts atm, so why shouldn’t theirs?

Doesn’t clean up the current mess, but would certainly discourage any attempt to repeat it… and any attempt to repeal such a law would result in the currency getting hammered in the markets. Likewise, I suppose any realistic attempt to lower the debt ceiling over time by means of amendments to the law would be rewarded in the markets.

Sadly, I don’t think anyone will have the guts to really tighten personal accountability of MPs and ministers in any form.

A friend of the original Facebook poster of this comment agreed, with the words “Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas”.

All too true with regard to our glorious leaders – but remind me, why did so many people vote in the recent elections? Perhaps somebody told them to pay no attention to the man in Number 10 in the Bernard Matthews mask…

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