The traditional Tax Day of April 15 – transferred this year to April 18 because of a holiday – means that working Americans will have placed their financial affairs in order and either claimed a refund or written a check to the IRS.
This is really the culmination of a yearlong process that sees American families and businesses keep close tabs on their money, adhere to a tight budget, and make value choices around how they spend their finite resources.
American families pull off a juggling act that commands our respect. They cover their necessities as well as try to set something aside for emergencies and for future welcome obligations like education.
To their credit most Americans step up and get the job done on time. If they don’t they pay the penalty.
Once we are past Tax Day, the responsibility shifts to Congress where members have to prudently shape how our national priorities should be funded. They do so by taking the President’s proposed budget request, issuing a budget resolution, and passing the required appropriations bills by the start of the October 1 fiscal year.
To my utter amazement Congress routinely misses their budget deadline and has to pass a continuing resolution to provide stopgap funding for affected agencies and discretionary programs.
I find it remarkable that the government requires all of us to submit our taxes on time or face penalties while they can blow past Congressional budget deadlines without any repercussions.
Now, I think that there is an elegant solution to this problem and that is, No Budget, No Pay.
If the federal budget is not passed on time all members of Congress should forfeit their pay every day until the budget is passed. I don’t mean that it should go on hold in an escrow account where they will collect it later. I mean they should never receive that pay.
They should lose it because the budget derives from the taxes of hard working Americans. The failure by Congress to accountably manage this money only points out their disconnection from the constituents they represent.
A version of No Budget, No Pay has been in effect in the California legislature since voter approved Proposition 25 passed in 2010. To no one’s surprise each of the succeeding state budgets has been passed in timely fashion.
As someone who worked their way through college, started a small business, and helped return the benefits of this hard work back to the community, I assure you I understand and respect the concept of a hard earned dollar. No Budget, No Pay is simply one way in which we can enshrine the principle that Congress should always give our tax dollars the timely attention they deserve.
Katcho Achadjian is the leading candidate in the race for the 24th Congressional District, which encompasses Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and part of Ventura County. Katcho currently serves as a State Assembly Member and has represented the residents of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties for more than a decade, including three terms in the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors where he fought to protect taxpayers and property owners.
Katcho has received a number of endorsements in his campaign for congress, including the California Small Business Association, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen and 100% of the California Assembly and Senate Republicans.
He currently lives in San Luis Obispo with his family.
To learn more about Katcho, please visit www.Katcho2016.com