Seidman exercises his constitutional right to miss the point when he blames the fiscal cliff on the fact that revenue bills must originate in the House, or a “grotesquely malapportioned Senate.” But those are the Constitution’s procedural restraints, the equivalent of Robert’s Rules of Order. We got into this mess precisely by flouting its substantive limits on federal power.
Put simply, if the federal government only spent money on its constitutionally enumerated functions, there would be no fiscal cliff. No $1 trillion deficit. No $16 trillion national debt. No $84 trillion in unfunded liabilities for the major entitlement programs and other federal commitments.
It is the constitutional disobedience our man at Georgetown advocates that has the country perpetually on the precipice of financial ruin. He is merely complaining about a too-slow process of dividing up the spoils.