The House of Representatives wants to pass a “no budget, no pay” bill that encourages the Senate to pass a budget, something that it hasn’t done since the 2008 budget, less they forgo paychecks. However, there is a slight Constitutional problem in that it likely violates the 27th amendment governing congressional pay. I enjoy watching the hypocrisy. Many of the same lawmakers are scare mongering that our 2nd amendment rights are about to be curtailed post Sandy Hook, but I digress.
This tiny issue aside, my interest is thinking about the behavioral motivation this will unleash. Is the loss of some of a $174,000 yearly salary motivation enough for people with a average net worth of about 14 million?
For those poorer congress people, the main incentive will be to pass something fast, not something good. For instance, if Ford said to its workers, “no paycheck until you build 10,000 cars,” would you buy any of the resulting Pintos? The would likely mean lots of pet projects inserted the final bill in a effort to bride enough lawmakers to vote yes.
If anyone did run short of money, there is always a trusted fallback, lobbyists. These helpful people help write the laws anyway, I am sure many of them would pony up to pay for personal expenses, if the need should arrive.
The whole idea is good theater, but little substance since it fixes a non-existent issue. Depending on your point of view, we spend too much or tax too little and a budget would fix this problem.