A Balanced Budget Amendment?



     Do we need a “Balanced Budget” Amendment? NO! A constitutionally sound, informed electorate could quickly bring about the conditions that would allow the nation to balance the federal budget and end deficit spending. Thomas Jefferson wrote: “A nation that expects to be ignorant and free … expects what never was and never will be.” The voters must come to understand that it is our responsibility to make certain our Representatives honor their oath of office and keep their actions constrained within the scope and bounds established by the Constitution (no, the Constitution does not say “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” — that was Karl Marx).

     Put simply, if Congressmen were simply to honor their oaths of office to abide by the Constitution, the deficit problem would take care of itself. But were they to fail to do so, the only way the budget would be balanced is through a combina-tion of gimmickry and higher taxes.

     Currently, upwards of 80 percent of ex-penditures authorized by Congress and in-sisted upon by the executive branch (at the pandering insistence of the voters) violates the U.S. Constitution. Whether it is unconstitutional military “adventurism” around the world, foreign aid, ever-expanding entitlement programs, or redistribution of wealth to States, corporations, communities, or individuals, none of these activities is allowed by the Charter of the Nation. Immediate steps must be taken to curtail these encroachments. “Sunset” clauses must be incorporated into all entitlement programs,and no additional entitlement programs authorized. No Balanced Budget Amendment is necessary if we insist that our elected Representatives keep their actions (and expenditures) within the bounds established by the United States Constitution!

ScottBradley5     In November 2010, using the power of the ballot box, we could have removed all of our unfaithful U.S. Congressmen and 1/3 of our Senators. A year from now we again have the opportunity to do the same thing, and also cleanse the executive branch.

     There are currently a number of proposed Balanced Budget Amendments that have been introduced in the House and Senate. Each of these potential proposed Balanced Budget Amendments contains a number of fatal flaws: They all allow deficit spending based upon agreement of 60 or 67 percent approval of both houses of Congress (depending upon the amendment being considered). With this stipula-tion, 60 Senators and 261 Congressmen, or 67 Senators and 292 Congressmen may approve a deficit budget. Because most Senators and Congressmen supportthe unconstitutional idea of buying votes back home by delivering largess out of the public treasury to their constituents, it is not hard to see how most budget votes will easily attain the required threshold as pork is added to the budget to buy the vote of a Senator or Congressman so that he can buy the votes for himself back home! The practice of adding dditional expenditures to buy the votes of reluctant ongressmen will continue at an even greater rate than it has in the past. 

Historically, most budget votes have easily attained a 60 percent approval threshold. So we can see that unless Representatives are willing to keep their actions within constitutional bounds, most budgets will exceed the available funds, and the result will be further deficits in spite of the Balanced Budget Amendment.

     And if the Balanced Budget Amendment is in place, and when the required deficit-allowing threshold is not attainable, but the majority still want to spend the money they feel they need to spend (usually for items and issues not consti-tutionally allowed, but for such items as entitlement programs, stimulus packages, etc., and which they think are “important” for them to get reelected), they will wring their hands in impotent despair and bemoan the fact that the Constitution now requires the budget to be balanced; therefore, they will be required to raise taxes to cover the expenses, which they may do by meeting another vote threshold. Even those who prefer a tax increase to a budget deficit will at some point reach the breaking point where they will no longer be able to sustain themselves be-cause the government has devoured their entire living (“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.” — Declaration of Independence). The proposed amendments also allow the national debt ceiling to be raised with approval of 60 Senators and 261 Congressmen.