If we were more inefficient about passing spending legislation, the government would shrink and Congress would grow more powerful at the expense of the bureaucracy. States would also benefit as federalism is renewed. Take your average spending bill, let’s say the defense bill. In the interests of efficiency there are a number of programs that go on autopilot and just ride along, largely unexamined. These program lives are largely determined by the executive.
Instead of 1 bill, why not make it a thousand bills all dealing with much smaller subjects, ideally single line items? The system would have many advantages, not least of which the end of the disgusting practice of having vital spending held hostage, conditioned on passage of dubious items. Presidential vetoes would become meaningful threats.
A further advantage would be that the system would force Congressmen and Senators to prioritize. You pass important spending up front and the also-rans end up at the rear. When you run out of time at the end of the year, the least important spending automatically is zeroed out.
Executive departments end up having their very existence depending on the timely production of documents demanded by Congress. Stonewall Congress and you’re likely to find your program’s appropriation held up, perhaps to the end of the year and your own program’s budget death. Since the bills are pinpoint accurate, neighboring programs are not affected at all.
The system would also tend to push spending down to the state and lower levels. If there’s an issue that could possibly be handled by the states, it’s much safer there under this system. But 50 state competition provides its own check on state level socialism as some states refuse to go along and reap the benefits of increased in-migration and booming economies.
The only real challenge is how to elect a Speaker who would make the rule changes necessary to implement the system, forcing each Congressman to lay out their priorities, and illegalizing the practice of grouping spending items in mammoth bills that hide all sorts of chicanery.