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What If Taxpayers Imposed 'Price Controls' on Congress?

Democrats’ first—and often only—response to rapidly rising prices is to try to impose price controls. They claim price controls are necessary to insulate consumers from greedy private sector companies that can charge whatever they want.
Well, the “price” of big government—i.e., its cost to taxpayers—keeps rising rapidly year after year, and especially since the pandemic started.  So instead of Congress imposing price controls on the taxpaying private sector, maybe it’s time for taxpayers to impose price controls … on Congress.
It’s been done before, at least once. And unlike price controls on private sector goods and services, price controls on Congress worked, at least for a while. It was called the budget sequester.
Congress has been on a spending spree, especially during the last two decades.
Federal debt grew by $5.85 trillion under President George W. Bush, $8.6 trillion under President Barack Obama, and about $8.2 trillion under President Donald Trump—though Trump had only four years in office.
To be sure, there were extenuating circumstances and difficult challenges in each of those administrations, especially in 2020.
What responsible families and companies do when faced with such circumstances is reprioritize their current obligations in an effort to make more funds available for their new expenses.  That’s not how Congress works. It just increases spending whether or not it has the additional funds—which it never does.
But it doesn’t stop there. Progressives see such challenges as an opportunity to dramatically increase spending far beyond current obligations and new expenses. Hence the desire to introduce a massive $6 trillion Build Back Better bill—Senator Bernie Sanders’ initial spending goal—which was eventually reduced to $1.7 trillion-plus.
How can taxpayers impose price controls on Congress—that is, to put Congress on a strict and limited budget and keep it there?
One way is to return to budget sequestration. In an effort to control spending, Congress passed the Budget Control Act in 2011. If Congress could not reach a bipartisan agreement on spending, automatic spending cuts in several areas would kick in. Congress couldn’t so the cuts began in March 2013.
That was the first time in decades that government spending in certain areas actually declined.
But because Congress really likes to spend money, bipartisan efforts gradually lifted, or postponed, the cuts. And the unbridled spending spree began again.
So price controls on Congress did work ... for a while. It’s time to bring them back, only this time, make them stick.