The Only Reform That Will Restrain Spending- balanced budget amend.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Trajan, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    thoughts?



    * JULY 7, 2011

    The Only Reform That Will Restrain Spending

    All 47 Senate Republicans now support changing the Constitution to balance the federal budget.

    By OLYMPIA SNOWE And JIM DEMINT

    Whatever happens when President Obama meets with congressional leaders of both parties at the White House today, no long-term solution is on the table for the spending habits in Washington that have endangered the prosperity of future generations. With our federal debt exceeding $14 trillion—nearly 100% of our gross domestic product—fiscal calamity is jeopardizing our standard of living and undermining our national security. And President Obama recently requested that we add an additional $2.4 trillion to our debt.

    There has to be another way, and there is. Republicans in the Senate are united in our concern about our nation's fiscal future. Before we consider saddling our children with even more debt, we must enact significant spending cuts and enforceable caps on future spending. For the long term, to prevent both this Congress and its successors from hijacking the promise of American prosperity, we also need a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, like the one we and all 47 Senate Republicans have introduced.

    The American people who will vote on such an amendment understand the basic financial rules that Washington has been breaking. In the real world, if a household brought in $44,000 annually but spent $74,000 by borrowing $30,000 each year to sustain its spending habits, such behavior would be considered reckless and irresponsible.

    Nonetheless, the federal government is doing exactly that on an unimaginable scale, running historic deficits in excess of a trillion dollars for three consecutive years and borrowing 40 cents for every dollar spent. Our government has balanced its budget only five times in half a century.

    snip-

    Why will this approach work where others have failed? For one single reason: As senators and representatives, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution. By amending the Constitution, Congress will be forever bound to match our nation's expenditures with our revenues. Toothless resolutions and statutory speed bumps have proven easy to evade or ignore. Indeed, the reason many lawmakers don't want a balanced budget amendment is the exact reason why we need it: It would permanently end the types of legislative trickery that have now brought our country to the fiscal brink.

    The last time the Senate considered a balanced budget amendment was on March 4, 1997—and it failed to pass by one vote. On that day 14 years ago, the nation's outstanding debt was $5.36 trillion. Today it is $14.3 trillion, or nearly three times that amount.

    more at
    Olympia Snowe and Jim DeMint: The Only Reform That Will Restrain Spending - WSJ.com
     
  2. kyzr
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    kyzr Gold Member

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    Hope they pass it....but its probably Unconstitutional.....most good ideas are.....
     
  3. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    Takes years to get it ratified, even if the Senae passed it and Obama signed it. In the meantime, I'd like to see a spending cap that is tied to a percentage of GDP, which historically is around 18-19%. Today it's around 25%, which is ridiculous. Congress can play with the numbers all they want, but they shouldn't be allowed to exceed the ceiling, and if they do (for emergencies) then the excess goes off of the following year's spending.
     
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  4. Too Tall
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    Too Tall Senior Member

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    [quote.=kyzr;3833115]Hope they pass it....but its probably Unconstitutional.....most good ideas are.....[/quote]

    Not a prayer of it passing. This is what happened in 1996.

    Republican: "Republicans support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, phased in over a short period and with appropriate safeguards for national emergencies. We passed it in the House of Representatives, but Bill Clinton and his allies -- especially the Senate's somersault six, who switched their longstanding position on the issue -- blocked it by a single vote." [Congressional Q. Weekly Rept., Aug. 17, 1996, page 2319.]

    Democrats oppose anything that would limit their ability to buy votes with the governments money.
     
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  5. hortysir
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    hortysir In Memorial of 47

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    Isn't it already in our constitution that it is congress' job to pass our national annual budget?
    They haven't done it in 2 years.
    What makes you think a new paragraph will do anything?
     
  6. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    It’s a dreadful idea – the Constitution should not be cluttered up with subjective partisan dogma. We’ll live to regret it not unlike the 16th Amendment. Governments can’t be run like a business, or a household for that matter. It’s inane and naïve. If the voters truly want a balanced budget they need to compel their lawmakers to act or throw them out of office accordingly. The Constitution should not be sullied with such a poorly conceived amendment because the voters are too lazy and the politicians too corrupt.
     
  7. DontBeStupid
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    DontBeStupid Look it up!

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    This is a terrible, terrible idea. It would tie our hands during a time of war and would also tie our hands during a recession and depression when social safety nets automatically kick in.

    If you want another Great Depression, vote for this, otherwise, bad idea.
     
  8. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    Although I like the idea, there are some big problems. You would have to have a really big contingency fund to cover national disasters, military responses, and financial crisis because congress is very slow to increase taxes to match spending. One way of handling it would be to have an automatic tax increase if congress passed any bill that would cause the nation to go over budget.
     
  9. candycorn
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    candycorn Alis volat propriis

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    Correct me if I'm wrong...a balanced budget is one where income = spending, right?
     
  10. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    thats part of the problem no? 2 years for unemployment benefits?

    and some of those things can be written in.
     

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