“Since the Middle Ages, the first and most basic restraint on arbitrary government has been the people’s power to decide how much money the government will spend, and for what purposes. The US Constitution puts it this way: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of Appropriations made by law” (Art. I sect.9). Nowadays however our bipartisan ruling class limits the Congress’ opportunity to approve, disapprove, or modify what the government does, to voting on “Continuing Appropriations Resolutions” – single, all-inclusive bills crafted behind closed doors. Then it cynically asks the people’s representatives: “will you agree to laws no one has read, to programs on the continuation of which you have not voted, and to regulations that haven’t been written yet, or will you shut down the government?” This turns democracy into a choice between tyranny and anarchy.”
The above quoted by Mark Steyn, who adds this important observation:
America’s much vaunted “checks and balances” are only as good as the political class’ deference to them. In Congress, the constitutional order has been largely replaced by procedural legerdemain by thug operators. It’s unseemly and pathetic.