Lacey Smith

It’s time for a balanced budget amendment

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

America is facing a serious budget crisis. It has been building slowly since the 1930s (when Social Security was introduced). It’s been addressed a few times since then but there have never been any real long-term solutions.

Now we are facing $14 Trillion in debt, and a $1.4 Trillion deficit that grows every second. We are not Greece, yet, but we are well on our way.

Congress is finally doing something about it, but really only because the country is about to hit the debt ceiling where we can no longer borrow. Otherwise, the debt would continue to climb without any real changes.

Likely, the debt ceiling will get raised in exchange for minor budget cuts but nothing will really change. The government will continue to spend and the debt will grow until we hit a new ceiling and this process will repeat.

Of course, all this could have been prevented if a balanced budget amendment had been passed during the 1995/96 budget showdown, or any of the times it had been proposed in the past.

Now again there is a balanced budget amendment on the table as part of the Cut, Cap and Balance Plan. It cleared the House yesterday, as expected, but will probably not make it out of the Senate. If it does, President Obama has promised to veto it.

In fact, despite all the evidence that Congress cannot control itself or the budget, our president does not think we need a balanced budget amendment.

Here’s Obama in a press conference last Friday:

If you go to CBS’s website, the president that our problem is “we cut taxes without paying for them…institut[ed] new programs like a prescription drug program for seniors that wasn’t paid for, we fought two wars, didn’t pay for them…”

And, Mr. President, in a few years there will be a very expensive new insurance plan for the whole nation that is not paid for.

We do need a national balanced budget amendment. At the very least, Congress should send the amendment to the states and let us decide.

There’s no question that we must get our spending under control.

Unfortunately we can’t do it all at once and the only way to guarantee that the budget cuts passed now get put into effect long term is if there is a Constitutional amendment that forces Congress and the President into doing it.

We’re on an unsustainable path. Pres. Obama is wrong. We do need to do something radical.

I don’t know if Cut, Cap and Balance is the only way to solve the problem, or even the best way, but it is a way. And it’s a good way. It’s time for the U.S. to have a balanced budget amendment.

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