Third Way Perspectives

Subscribe via RSS

Posts Tagged ‘balanced budget amendment’

The Perils of a Balanced Budget Amendment

July 19th, 2011

by

This piece was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

It’s baaaack! This week, Congress will vote, yet again, on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

A two-thirds majority in each house of Congress is required to amend the Constitution. Since 1980, Congress has voted on a balanced budget amendment five times. The closest it has come to passage was in 1995, when it passed the House of Representatives but failed to pass the Senate by one vote.

The American public has long supported a balanced budget amendment. Why? It’s common sense. If you keep on spending more money than you take in, you’re headed for trouble. Every state except Vermont has some sort of requirement that its budget be balanced.

Conservatives see a balanced budget amendment as a way to institutionalize their agenda. Once the amendment is in place, it will become extremely difficult — literally unconstitutional — for the federal government to increase spending beyond revenues. Read the rest of this entry »