Debate on Balanced Budget Amendment - A key differentiator for 2012

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2011 5:58 PM GMT
    So many economic issues are complex and subject to obfuscation, but this one can be easily comprehended, and, therefore, may well be a major issue between the Republicans and Democrats. Further increasing the challenge for the Democrats who oppose the amendment is conservative-Democrat Blue Dog Coalition, 25 members strong, which has endorsed the amendment. However, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer has come out forcefully against it -- even though he voted for the balanced budget amendment in 1995. (CBS source cited below.)

    The basic question is, shall the US live within its means, or continue on the path of spending more than we take in, and increase what we must borrow? An amendment would take time to go through the state legislatures and take effect, so no one is suggesting any draconian cuts immediately. This is a long-term policy question. The Republicans and blue-dog Democrats say yes, the other Democrats, controlled by the progressives, say no. A powerful election year question.
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    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/18/politics/balanced-budget-amendment/index.html
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    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/17/lawmakers-prepare-for-showdown-over-balanced-budget-amendment/
    Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., the chief sponsor of the measure, said Americans "understand what it means to live within their means and they expect nothing less from the federal government. A balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution is the only way to ensure that Congress curtails its spending on an annual basis."

    To attract Democrats, Republicans opted for the Goodlatte version, which does not, as many conservatives wanted, set a tight cap on government spending or require a supermajority to raise taxes. It does require a three-fifths vote by both chambers to raise the debt ceiling and a three-fifths vote to approve a deficit in any one year. Congress can also waive the amendment in times of serious military conflict.

    The amendment has the overall support of the so-called Blue Dogs, a 25-member group of fiscally conservative Democrats.

    "I think this is long overdue," Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., told Fox News.

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    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57326895-503544/obama-dems-slam-balanced-budget-amendment/

    Although the points above do come from CBS, notice how their article shows a definite slant. Especially obvious from the title, and most of the article presents the position of the progressive Democrats.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 19, 2011 1:43 AM GMT
    There are no less than FIVE proposals to enact a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment in the 111th Congress.

    Here's 3 of them.
    http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-hj2/text
    http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-hj81/text
    http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-sj24/text

    Read each one and see if you can find each one's "easy out" waiver or exception provision.
  • tokugawa

    Posts: 945

    Nov 19, 2011 5:35 AM GMT
    Balanced budget amendments to the constitution have been debated for a long time. The reason it does not pass is because it does not work.
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    Nov 19, 2011 6:23 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    tokugawa saidBalanced budget amendments to the constitution have been debated for a long time. The reason it does not pass is because it does not work.


    Well, we don't know that it doesn't work because we've never had one on the Federal level.

    It would be interesting to try it out, though.

    Democrats - when they control the Congress and Presidency like they did the first 2 years of the Obama admin - could still spend as much as they wanted. They would just have to increase taxes to actually fund it now, versus sticking future generations with the bill.


    I guess Republicans never spent as much as they wanted while passing the bill to future generationsicon_rolleyes.gif. Nor did any combination of power splitting arrangements.icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif

    If you want to be honest, there's plenty of blame to spread around. For instance, Saint Reagan is his day increased the Federal Deficit more than all presidents before him combined.
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    Nov 19, 2011 8:13 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    intentsman said
    If you want to be honest, there's plenty of blame to spread around. For instance, Saint Reagan is his day increased the Federal Deficit more than all presidents before him combined.



    Nope, that would be the Democrat-controlled Congress that was responsible for that "achievement." Reagan never vetoed a budget bill because there "wasn't enough spending" in it.



    zFacts-Reagan-Not-Congress.png
    On average, Congress actually appropriated less than Reagan's budget requests.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Nov 20, 2011 1:36 AM GMT
    I'm glad it was rejected for one primary reason — the defense budget.

    Unless the Republicans and Blue Dogs can agree that our Defense Department needs substantial cuts and stops its wasteful spending, then I see no need for Americans to pay for the increase in taxes to cover the department's out of control spending.
  • KissTheSky

    Posts: 1981

    Nov 20, 2011 3:23 AM GMT
    If a balanced budget is so important to Republicans, why didn't we hear a peep about this when they controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress during the Bush years?
    As I recall, their VP Dick Cheney repeatedly said "deficits don't matter."
    Bush increased the deficit more than Obama has.

    But now that we have a Democractic president, what a dramatic religious conversion has swept through the Republican ranks! Born-again deficit hawks, suddenly beside themselves with concern about living within our means. icon_rolleyes.gif

    Reality check: Every one of Obama's budgets must be approved by the Republican-controlled House. If deficit spending is such a travesty, why do they continue to approve his budgets?