James Madison Institute
May 2012 - 12 Steps to Fiscal Sobriety

May 24, 2012 | Speeches & Other Documents

These steps should be followed by all government policymakers (particularly those in Washington):

  • We admitted that we could not restrain ourselves when it came to spending other people’s money- and that our government budgets had become unmanageable.
  • We came to believe that only a power greater than ourselves- the Constitution- could restore us to fiscal sanity.
  • We made a decision to turn from our big-spending ways and balance the government budget.
  • We made a searching and fearless inventory of all unnecessary government expenditures.
  • We removed all these unnecessary expenditures from the budget.
  • We admitted to ourselves and our constituents the exact nature of our spendaholic ways.
  • We humbly asked our constituents to remove us from office if we ever fell off the wagon and started spending recklessly again.
  • We took a census of all the taxpayers we had harmed and began making amends to them all.
  • We began paying off all government debts, lest we prevent future generations from achieving the American Dream.
  • We continued to take inventory of the unintended consequences of government programs; and when we had delusions of government grandeur, we promptly admitted it.
  • We sought to improve our contact with our constituents, asking only for the privilege of representing the taxpayers’ interest.
  • Having had a political awakening as a result of these steps, we now seek to carry this message to other spendaholics and to practice thrift in all our affairs.

View Palm Card:12 Steps to Fiscal Sobriety (PDF)

View Press Release:Fiscal Sobriety Press Release (PDF)