Honest Deal Act: In a Nutshell

The Money Trick: Much as the Truth in Lending Act already requires lenders to disclose to prospective borrowers how much they will have to pay in the future, the Honest Deal Act would require Washington to disclose to voters the average cost per family of the spending cuts or tax increases needed for government to make ends meet in the long run and the extent to which the last Congress increased or decreased that cost.

The Debt Guarantee Trick:  Much as a private business would charge another firm a fee for guaranteeing its debt, the Honest Deal Act would charge the giants of Wall Street market-based fees that go up with the size of their debts and the risk that they won’t be paid. Washington now guarantees the debts of Wall Street on the cheap. This is welfare for Wall Street and encourages speculation that will lead to future fiscal crises and the economic chaos that ensues.

The Federal Mandate Trick: The Honest Deal Act would trigger roll call votes on the most controversial new mandates on states and localities, thereby making members of Congress responsible for the burdens that the mandates impose as well as the benefits for which they take credit.

The Regulation Trick: Implementing a proposal by James Landis, the New Deal expert, that was fleshed out by Justice Stephen Breyer, the Honest Deal Act would require members of Congress to cast roll calls votes on major regulatory changes, whether to strengthen or weaken regulation. Here is more information on how to do so.

The War Trick: Fulfilling the promise that Congress made in the War Powers Act but has failed to keep, the Honest Deal Act would in fact force members of Congress to vote on all wars at the outset.