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senate Bill S. Joint Res. 24

Should the Constitution Require the Budget to be Balanced and Federal Spending Capped?

Argument in favor

The federal government is in the midst of a debt crisis, and Congress doesn’t seem to have the will to do anything to significantly change course. This balanced budget amendment wisely caps spending and makes it harder to raise taxes, but affords Congress the flexibility to spend more when at war.

Tafinzer's Opinion
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04/22/2017
Vote yea. Balancing the budget and not spending money that isn't available is just simple and straightforward good sense.
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04/21/2017
We're in enough debt already! It's time for the government to stop spending money on shit we don't need!
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Loraki's Opinion
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04/22/2017
THIS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF PRACTICING "TOUGH LOVE"! TOO BAD IT'S BECOME NECESSARY! Text of bill: https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/sjres24/BILLS-115sjres24is.pdf Cosponsors: Sen. McConnell, Mitch [R-KY]* Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX]* Sen. Barrasso, John [R-WY]* Sen. Blunt, Roy [R-MO]* Sen. Boozman, John [R-AR]* Sen. Burr, Richard [R-NC]* Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV]* Sen. Cassidy, Bill [R-LA]* Sen. Cochran, Thad [R-MS]* Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME]* Sen. Corker, Bob [R-TN]* Sen. Crapo, Mike [R-ID]* Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX]* Sen. Daines, Steve [R-MT]* Sen. Enzi, Michael B. [R-WY]* Sen. Ernst, Joni [R-IA]* Sen. Fischer, Deb [R-NE]* Sen. Flake, Jeff [R-AZ]* Sen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO]* Sen. Graham, Lindsey [R-SC]* Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA]* Sen. Heller, Dean [R-NV]* Sen. Hoeven, John [R-ND]* Sen. Inhofe, James M. [R-OK]* Sen. Isakson, Johnny [R-GA]* Sen. Johnson, Ron [R-WI]* Sen. Kennedy, John [R-LA]* Sen. Lankford, James [R-OK]* Sen. Lee, Mike [R-UT]* Sen. McCain, John [R-AZ]* Sen. Moran, Jerry [R-KS]* Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK]* Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY]* Sen. Perdue, David [R-GA]* Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH]* Sen. Risch, James E. [R-ID]* Sen. Roberts, Pat [R-KS]* Sen. Rounds, Mike [R-SD]* Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL]* Sen. Sasse, Ben [R-NE]* Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC]* Sen. Shelby, Richard C. [R-AL]* Sen. Strange, Luther [R-AL]* Sen. Sullivan, Dan [R-AK]* Sen. Thune, John [R-SD]* Sen. Tillis, Thom [R-NC]* Sen. Toomey, Pat [R-PA]* Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS]* Sen. Young, Todd C. [R-IN]* The Answer Is a Balanced Budget Amendment By STEVEN G. CALABRESI, October 28, 2011, 10:08 am The United States of America is on the road to bankruptcy, with a federal debt of more than $14.2 trillion, almost half of which is owned by foreign countries. (Communist China alone owns fully a quarter of the foreign-held portion). The problem is so well known that it almost came as an anticlimax when Standard & Poor’s recently downgraded U.S. debt from its coveted AAA rating to an unheard-of AA+. As for the budget deficit, it is expected to total $1.3 trillion for this year alone, with tax revenues of about $2.3 trillion and total expenditures of about $3.6 trillion. If a household ran its budget like that, we would say it was headed for a rude shock. Making matters worse is that our debt is structural rather than cyclical: the federal budget is in deficit both in good economic times and bad. When George W. Bush took office in 2001, the gross federal debt was $5.76 trillion. When he left eight years later, the debt was up to $10.626 trillion, an increase of $607 billion a year. During Barack Obama’s presidency it has risen by $1.7 trillion a year and now almost 40 percent higher than when he took office. Deficits of this size are quite simply unsustainable. The only way to fix this mess is to radically cut federal spending, cap the budget with pay-as-you-go spending rules, and then enact a balanced budget amendment (BBA). The most important point is that we need to cut spending, not raise taxes. Total federal spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has skyrocketed from around 18 percent, when George W. Bush became president, to more than 25 percent today. This shows that our current deficit problem is entirely due to overspending. If tomorrow we cut spending back to the levels of January 20, 2001, when Bush took office, the deficit would almost disappear. Then we need to cap and balance the budget, once we’ve cut overall spending back to 2001 levels. To do this effectively, we need to enact a federal BBA to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment should have several features. First, it should require that the president submit to Congress each year a balanced federal budget with no fiscal gimmicks. Presidential failure to do so would be an impeachable offense. Congress should be constitutionally required to hold a vote in both houses on the president’s proposed budget within three months, with the president and Congress having up to six months to adopt a final budget in any given calendar year (this requirement should be waivable during any time of declared war for up to two years). If they fail to do that, all federal spending except for payments on the debt should be frozen at levels 10 percent lower than in the preceding fiscal year. TO HELP IMPOSE THIS, ANY ONE OF THE SEVERAL STATES SHOULD HAVE STANDING TO SUE IN THE SUPREME COURT'S ORIGINAL JURISDICTION FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THIS REQUIREMENT [emphasis mine]. Second, the BBA should cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP. A spending cap of this proportion would keep the federal government at the size it was under President Bill Clinton — hardly onerous or severe. The amendment should require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress to enact any new taxes or to raise tax rates. Votes to raise the national debt limit should also require a two-thirds majority. These provisions are essential to prevent a BBA from becoming just an excuse to raise taxes. THE USUAL RESPONSE to calls for such an amendment is that we ought not tamper with the Constitution. Critics of a BBA also claim it is not needed since a majority of Congress could balance the budget today if it really wanted to. There are at least five reasons why those critics are dead wrong. First, it is a core principle of American constitutionalism that there be no taxation without representation. The American Revolution was fought in part to prevent taxation by a British Parliament in which Americans were not represented. When Congress borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends, as it is doing today, it passes the burden of paying for current spending on to our children and grandchildren who cannot vote right now — nothing less than taxation without representation. Second, a core purpose of the Constitution is to protect fundamental principles like freedom of speech and of the press from being whittled away during moments of legislative passion. Exactly the same argument holds true with respect to spending more money than the government collects in tax revenue. Constitutionalizing the balanced budget requirement is as necessary as constitutionalizing the protection of freedom of speech and of the press. This is an argument that was first made more than 30 years ago by Noble Prize laureate Milton Friedman. It is just as true today as it was then. Third, there is an economic reason why it is easier to assemble lobbies for government spending than it is to assemble a nationwide lobby for a balanced budget. Consider the farm lobby that argues for agricultural price supports, or the AARP that lobbies for benefits for the elderly. It is cheaper and easier for small groups with a shared common interest to lobby Congress than for a large, diffuse majority of the American population to do the same. That’s why the silent majority is silent. A BBA in the Constitution would prevent the special interests from ripping off the children and grandchildren of the silent majority. James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 51 that the secret of constitutional government was to make ambition counteract ambition. The way to check and balance over-spending is to constitutionalize a pay-as-you-go rule while making tax increases hard to enact. Fourth, yet another economic reason for a BBA is that it would reduce risk and thereby promote investment. When people are looking for a place to invest, one of their first questions is how risky is the investment and how large is the potential reward. Foreign and American investors since World War II have invested in the U.S. and in its debt because our Constitution of checks and balances makes it hard to do crazy things like nationalize industries or set up a single payer health insurance monopoly. A BBA would reduce further the risk of investing in the U. S., and that would promote investment and economic growth by constitutionally committing itself not to overspend. The risk of inflationary devaluation of the dollar would thus go way down. This in turn would bolster the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It would also prevent federal borrowing from crowding out private sector borrowing in the U.S. This would free up a capital for investment in job-creating ventures. A fifth argument for the BBA paradoxically grows out of one of the arguments commonly made against it: it would be purely symbolic. Or as James Madison would have said, “a mere parchment barrier” against overspending. This criticism fails for many reasons. A BBA of the kind I argue for would have enforcement teeth. Presidential failure to submit a good-faith balanced budget would be a specific ground for impeachment. Then too, if Congress failed to enact a balanced budget, state governments could sue for an across theboard spending cut of 10 percent. But suppose Congress wimps out and enacts a BBA without teeth. Would such a symbolic victory be worth anything? The answer again is clearly yes. Almost every state has some form of a balanced budget requirement in its constitution or law. The fact is that balanced budget requirements actually do work at the state level. This strongly suggests they would work at the federal level as well. CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS, even symbolic ones, set the agenda of political debate. The Second and Tenth Amendments clearly do that in the U.S. today, even though the federal courts almost never enforce them. A BBA would work very much the same way. The case for a BBA is so powerful that Germany and Switzerland — both models of fiscal sobriety — actually require a balanced budget in their own constitutions. And now Germany and France have actually proposed requiring that all Eurozone countries amend their national constitutions to require a balanced budget. What is good enough for almost every state in the Union and for many countries of Europe is certainly worth trying at the federal level here. So what harm could come from enacting a BBA to the U.S. Constitution? Is there any argument against such an amendment that outweighs the arguments in favor of it? One concern conservatives have is that it might lead to tax increases. I share that concern and therefore would couple it with a super-majority requirement for tax increases. That should make a BBA clearly appealing to conservatives of all stripes. But what if such an amendment gets ratified that does not protect against tax increases? Would we then be worse off? I think the answer is no. It is harder politically for Congress to tax real people living today than it is to borrow money from the children and grandchildren of the silent majority. People living today will mobilize in many ways against tax increases. The correct solution is to cut, cap, and balance, but I would not let concerns about tax increases stop us from doing what virtually every state constitution does. Another real concern for conservatives is that a BBA could lead to dangerous cuts in spending on national defense. This concern I share. The U.S. is a world leader and the greatest force for liberty and economic opportunity in history. We must always be ready to defend liberty worldwide. The problem is, however, that current levels of deficit spending — almost half of which is financed by foreign countries — is itself a threat to U.S. global might. We simply cannot defend liberty in Asia, for example, if we continue to borrow massively from the Chinese. We cannot defend freedom in Arab countries while being so dependent on Saudi Arabia and others for imported oil and purchases of our debt. The status quo is at least as threatening to America’s military might as is living under a BBA, for the status quo is not sustainable. Finally, some conservatives argue that the solution to congressional deficit spending is a line item veto amendment giving the president the same power over spending enjoyed by a majority of state governors. I am quite skeptical about such an amendment because of the enormous power it would shift from Congress to the president. Imagine for a moment that President Obama could threaten senators or representatives with line item vetoes of locally important spending projects unless they voted his way on socialized medicine. Or on a card check law reform making it easy to fraudulently form a union. Do we really want to cede that much power from Congress to the president? I do not think so. In sum, we need to cut, cap, and balance. To do that permanently, we must enact a BBA. Nothing less than the future of government of the people, by the people, and for the people is at stake. https://spectator.org/36823_answer-balanced-budget-amendment/
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Argument opposed

A balanced budget amendment with a spending cap as imposed by this resolution would make it very difficult for Congress to continue funding vital programs at their current levels. This amendment’s exceptions would still allow Congress to run up deficits, it’d just take a two-thirds majority vote.

Ronda 's Opinion
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04/21/2017
The government is not a business and cannot and should not be run as one. Businesses exist to make a profit. Government exists to serve citizens. These things are diametrically opposed.
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Dave's Opinion
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04/21/2017
So if a Katrina Hurricane hits and it's at budget time we are going to wait to start helping people out? Of course not. Government is not a business.
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Dan's Opinion
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04/21/2017
Balancing the budget is an worthy pursuit but the supermajority requirement to raise taxes is clearly a measure to protect the rich and cut programs that are vital to people's daily lives.
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    Vote yea. Balancing the budget and not spending money that isn't available is just simple and straightforward good sense.
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    The government is not a business and cannot and should not be run as one. Businesses exist to make a profit. Government exists to serve citizens. These things are diametrically opposed.
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    So if a Katrina Hurricane hits and it's at budget time we are going to wait to start helping people out? Of course not. Government is not a business.
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    Balancing the budget is an worthy pursuit but the supermajority requirement to raise taxes is clearly a measure to protect the rich and cut programs that are vital to people's daily lives.
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    A balanced budget is a catchy phrase that sounds good to people who don't understand macroeconomics, but would be dangerous to try to enact. A government that prints its own currency and also determines it's interest rates needs to be able to sell off debt to let some pressure off. Rather than govern by bumper sticker catch phrases, let's govern by sound policy.
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    We're in enough debt already! It's time for the government to stop spending money on shit we don't need!
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    Of course the answer should be yes but this is proposed by Infamous Republican Orrin Hatch. So after this majority Red Congress gets rid of all the taxes on the wealthy, it will then take a 2/3 majority in the future when Dems have the Congress to pass and put any of those revenue sources from that tax base back into place. Very clever but I see your scheme! I hate being so cynical but it's like a chess game with these selfish crooks.
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    THIS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF PRACTICING "TOUGH LOVE"! TOO BAD IT'S BECOME NECESSARY! Text of bill: https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/sjres24/BILLS-115sjres24is.pdf Cosponsors: Sen. McConnell, Mitch [R-KY]* Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX]* Sen. Barrasso, John [R-WY]* Sen. Blunt, Roy [R-MO]* Sen. Boozman, John [R-AR]* Sen. Burr, Richard [R-NC]* Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV]* Sen. Cassidy, Bill [R-LA]* Sen. Cochran, Thad [R-MS]* Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME]* Sen. Corker, Bob [R-TN]* Sen. Crapo, Mike [R-ID]* Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX]* Sen. Daines, Steve [R-MT]* Sen. Enzi, Michael B. [R-WY]* Sen. Ernst, Joni [R-IA]* Sen. Fischer, Deb [R-NE]* Sen. Flake, Jeff [R-AZ]* Sen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO]* Sen. Graham, Lindsey [R-SC]* Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA]* Sen. Heller, Dean [R-NV]* Sen. Hoeven, John [R-ND]* Sen. Inhofe, James M. [R-OK]* Sen. Isakson, Johnny [R-GA]* Sen. Johnson, Ron [R-WI]* Sen. Kennedy, John [R-LA]* Sen. Lankford, James [R-OK]* Sen. Lee, Mike [R-UT]* Sen. McCain, John [R-AZ]* Sen. Moran, Jerry [R-KS]* Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK]* Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY]* Sen. Perdue, David [R-GA]* Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH]* Sen. Risch, James E. [R-ID]* Sen. Roberts, Pat [R-KS]* Sen. Rounds, Mike [R-SD]* Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL]* Sen. Sasse, Ben [R-NE]* Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC]* Sen. Shelby, Richard C. [R-AL]* Sen. Strange, Luther [R-AL]* Sen. Sullivan, Dan [R-AK]* Sen. Thune, John [R-SD]* Sen. Tillis, Thom [R-NC]* Sen. Toomey, Pat [R-PA]* Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS]* Sen. Young, Todd C. [R-IN]* The Answer Is a Balanced Budget Amendment By STEVEN G. CALABRESI, October 28, 2011, 10:08 am The United States of America is on the road to bankruptcy, with a federal debt of more than $14.2 trillion, almost half of which is owned by foreign countries. (Communist China alone owns fully a quarter of the foreign-held portion). The problem is so well known that it almost came as an anticlimax when Standard & Poor’s recently downgraded U.S. debt from its coveted AAA rating to an unheard-of AA+. As for the budget deficit, it is expected to total $1.3 trillion for this year alone, with tax revenues of about $2.3 trillion and total expenditures of about $3.6 trillion. If a household ran its budget like that, we would say it was headed for a rude shock. Making matters worse is that our debt is structural rather than cyclical: the federal budget is in deficit both in good economic times and bad. When George W. Bush took office in 2001, the gross federal debt was $5.76 trillion. When he left eight years later, the debt was up to $10.626 trillion, an increase of $607 billion a year. During Barack Obama’s presidency it has risen by $1.7 trillion a year and now almost 40 percent higher than when he took office. Deficits of this size are quite simply unsustainable. The only way to fix this mess is to radically cut federal spending, cap the budget with pay-as-you-go spending rules, and then enact a balanced budget amendment (BBA). The most important point is that we need to cut spending, not raise taxes. Total federal spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has skyrocketed from around 18 percent, when George W. Bush became president, to more than 25 percent today. This shows that our current deficit problem is entirely due to overspending. If tomorrow we cut spending back to the levels of January 20, 2001, when Bush took office, the deficit would almost disappear. Then we need to cap and balance the budget, once we’ve cut overall spending back to 2001 levels. To do this effectively, we need to enact a federal BBA to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment should have several features. First, it should require that the president submit to Congress each year a balanced federal budget with no fiscal gimmicks. Presidential failure to do so would be an impeachable offense. Congress should be constitutionally required to hold a vote in both houses on the president’s proposed budget within three months, with the president and Congress having up to six months to adopt a final budget in any given calendar year (this requirement should be waivable during any time of declared war for up to two years). If they fail to do that, all federal spending except for payments on the debt should be frozen at levels 10 percent lower than in the preceding fiscal year. TO HELP IMPOSE THIS, ANY ONE OF THE SEVERAL STATES SHOULD HAVE STANDING TO SUE IN THE SUPREME COURT'S ORIGINAL JURISDICTION FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THIS REQUIREMENT [emphasis mine]. Second, the BBA should cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP. A spending cap of this proportion would keep the federal government at the size it was under President Bill Clinton — hardly onerous or severe. The amendment should require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress to enact any new taxes or to raise tax rates. Votes to raise the national debt limit should also require a two-thirds majority. These provisions are essential to prevent a BBA from becoming just an excuse to raise taxes. THE USUAL RESPONSE to calls for such an amendment is that we ought not tamper with the Constitution. Critics of a BBA also claim it is not needed since a majority of Congress could balance the budget today if it really wanted to. There are at least five reasons why those critics are dead wrong. First, it is a core principle of American constitutionalism that there be no taxation without representation. The American Revolution was fought in part to prevent taxation by a British Parliament in which Americans were not represented. When Congress borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends, as it is doing today, it passes the burden of paying for current spending on to our children and grandchildren who cannot vote right now — nothing less than taxation without representation. Second, a core purpose of the Constitution is to protect fundamental principles like freedom of speech and of the press from being whittled away during moments of legislative passion. Exactly the same argument holds true with respect to spending more money than the government collects in tax revenue. Constitutionalizing the balanced budget requirement is as necessary as constitutionalizing the protection of freedom of speech and of the press. This is an argument that was first made more than 30 years ago by Noble Prize laureate Milton Friedman. It is just as true today as it was then. Third, there is an economic reason why it is easier to assemble lobbies for government spending than it is to assemble a nationwide lobby for a balanced budget. Consider the farm lobby that argues for agricultural price supports, or the AARP that lobbies for benefits for the elderly. It is cheaper and easier for small groups with a shared common interest to lobby Congress than for a large, diffuse majority of the American population to do the same. That’s why the silent majority is silent. A BBA in the Constitution would prevent the special interests from ripping off the children and grandchildren of the silent majority. James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 51 that the secret of constitutional government was to make ambition counteract ambition. The way to check and balance over-spending is to constitutionalize a pay-as-you-go rule while making tax increases hard to enact. Fourth, yet another economic reason for a BBA is that it would reduce risk and thereby promote investment. When people are looking for a place to invest, one of their first questions is how risky is the investment and how large is the potential reward. Foreign and American investors since World War II have invested in the U.S. and in its debt because our Constitution of checks and balances makes it hard to do crazy things like nationalize industries or set up a single payer health insurance monopoly. A BBA would reduce further the risk of investing in the U. S., and that would promote investment and economic growth by constitutionally committing itself not to overspend. The risk of inflationary devaluation of the dollar would thus go way down. This in turn would bolster the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It would also prevent federal borrowing from crowding out private sector borrowing in the U.S. This would free up a capital for investment in job-creating ventures. A fifth argument for the BBA paradoxically grows out of one of the arguments commonly made against it: it would be purely symbolic. Or as James Madison would have said, “a mere parchment barrier” against overspending. This criticism fails for many reasons. A BBA of the kind I argue for would have enforcement teeth. Presidential failure to submit a good-faith balanced budget would be a specific ground for impeachment. Then too, if Congress failed to enact a balanced budget, state governments could sue for an across theboard spending cut of 10 percent. But suppose Congress wimps out and enacts a BBA without teeth. Would such a symbolic victory be worth anything? The answer again is clearly yes. Almost every state has some form of a balanced budget requirement in its constitution or law. The fact is that balanced budget requirements actually do work at the state level. This strongly suggests they would work at the federal level as well. CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS, even symbolic ones, set the agenda of political debate. The Second and Tenth Amendments clearly do that in the U.S. today, even though the federal courts almost never enforce them. A BBA would work very much the same way. The case for a BBA is so powerful that Germany and Switzerland — both models of fiscal sobriety — actually require a balanced budget in their own constitutions. And now Germany and France have actually proposed requiring that all Eurozone countries amend their national constitutions to require a balanced budget. What is good enough for almost every state in the Union and for many countries of Europe is certainly worth trying at the federal level here. So what harm could come from enacting a BBA to the U.S. Constitution? Is there any argument against such an amendment that outweighs the arguments in favor of it? One concern conservatives have is that it might lead to tax increases. I share that concern and therefore would couple it with a super-majority requirement for tax increases. That should make a BBA clearly appealing to conservatives of all stripes. But what if such an amendment gets ratified that does not protect against tax increases? Would we then be worse off? I think the answer is no. It is harder politically for Congress to tax real people living today than it is to borrow money from the children and grandchildren of the silent majority. People living today will mobilize in many ways against tax increases. The correct solution is to cut, cap, and balance, but I would not let concerns about tax increases stop us from doing what virtually every state constitution does. Another real concern for conservatives is that a BBA could lead to dangerous cuts in spending on national defense. This concern I share. The U.S. is a world leader and the greatest force for liberty and economic opportunity in history. We must always be ready to defend liberty worldwide. The problem is, however, that current levels of deficit spending — almost half of which is financed by foreign countries — is itself a threat to U.S. global might. We simply cannot defend liberty in Asia, for example, if we continue to borrow massively from the Chinese. We cannot defend freedom in Arab countries while being so dependent on Saudi Arabia and others for imported oil and purchases of our debt. The status quo is at least as threatening to America’s military might as is living under a BBA, for the status quo is not sustainable. Finally, some conservatives argue that the solution to congressional deficit spending is a line item veto amendment giving the president the same power over spending enjoyed by a majority of state governors. I am quite skeptical about such an amendment because of the enormous power it would shift from Congress to the president. Imagine for a moment that President Obama could threaten senators or representatives with line item vetoes of locally important spending projects unless they voted his way on socialized medicine. Or on a card check law reform making it easy to fraudulently form a union. Do we really want to cede that much power from Congress to the president? I do not think so. In sum, we need to cut, cap, and balance. To do that permanently, we must enact a BBA. Nothing less than the future of government of the people, by the people, and for the people is at stake. https://spectator.org/36823_answer-balanced-budget-amendment/
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    They'd cut the wrong things and still spend a ton on warfare. No.
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    I completely support this. The government should not be able to spend money it doesn't have. Also, it should be harder to create taxes than it already is, so as to disincentivize any further extortion in the future and maybe cause the current taxes in place to be either fixed or eliminated altogether. Not sure if this could actually get amended into the constitution, but it would be fantastic if it did.
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    A certain amount of deficit spending can be used to trigger growth. While we should generally work to reduce the deficit, achieve a surplus, and pay down our debt, this should not be a constitutional mandate.
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    Yes. Ultimately everything the government does must be paid for by taxes. When they spend more than they receive in taxes, they must go further into debt. Debt must be repaid WITH INTEREST, meaning that it is a GUARANTEE that there will be GREATER taxes in the future. If the government provides something that isn't coming out of your taxes today, it's because the tax on you or your children or your grandchildren will be HIGHER later. We MUST operate within our means. This isn't about whether government is or is not a business - it is still subject to universal principles of math, finance, and economics. If you spend more than you bring in, you have to make up the shortfall somewhere.
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    Balance the budget! Do your job.
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    This should already be a law.. with very few exceptions.
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    Yes no debt.
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    Running a country is not a business. Caring for the people should never be based on profit mentalities. This is the whole problem with the current Republican Party mindset, the idea that human beings can be categorized in debit and credit columns.
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    Just look at Illinois if you want to see what a disaster that would be.
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    As far as I can see, amending the Constitution should be a thing rarely if ever done. I cannot support an amendment to the Constitution that attempts to force Congress to do its job! That responsibility rests with We the People! If we want change in Congress' behavior we must use the power of the ballot box. With the average voter turnout in the states running at way less than 50%, it is We the People who have work to do! The vision of democracy is that the federal budget – and all activities of the federal government – reflects the values of a majority of Americans. Yet many people feel that the federal budget does not reflect their values and that the budgeting process is too difficult to understand, or that they can't make a difference. This short video explains what the problem is: https://www.facebook.com/RainbowLeague/posts/10212189448272489 Under Article 1, Section 8 Congress is empowered to enact laws deemed "necessary and proper" for the execution of the powers given to any part of the government under the Constitution. Part of Congress's exercise of legislative authority is the establishment of an annual budget for the government. To this end, Congress levies taxes and tariffs to provide funding for essential government services. If enough money cannot be raised to fund the government, then Congress may also authorize borrowing to make up the difference. Congress can also mandate spending on specific items: legislatively directed spending, commonly known as "earmarks," specifies funds for a particular project, rather than for a government agency. And it is a complicated process. Many forces shape the federal budget. Some of them are forces written into law - like the president's role in drafting the budget - while other forces stem from the realities of our political system. And while the federal budget may not currently reflect the values of a majority of Americans, the ultimate power over the U.S. government lies with the people. We have a right and responsibility to choose our elected officials by voting, and to hold them accountable for representing our priorities. The first step is to understand what's really going on.
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    We really should be more responsible with our spending
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    But only if we have a say in how the Federal budget is spent. Full transparency!
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