Senator John Cornyn wrote this week that: “A balanced budget amendment is necessary because Congress has proven it cannot agree on how to keep total federal spending in line with total federal revenue. Moreover, the president is not even required to propose a budget to Congress each year that is balanced, so he rarely does… Clearly, we need a constitutional enforcement mechanism to impose fiscal discipline on Washington.”
“The need for such an amendment is clear. Our national debt is nearly $14 trillion and has increased by more than 25 percent since the beginning of the Obama administration. We are now borrowing more than 40 cents of every dollar we spend,” Senator Cornyn penned.
It may surprise many that I believe a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution is a good idea. First, the entire structure of Federal spending is setup to buy votes, and as incumbents want above all else to be re-elected, where does anyone get the idea that a being forced to balance the Federal budget will result in spending cuts, or even a slowing of spending? In states with the requirement, those with more liberal majorities simply use the balanced budget requirement as an excuse to raise taxes and fees.
Don’t forget also that the Federal Government can do many things states cannot, such as print money to fake balancing the budget which results in inflation and steals from us more than does debt.
The long-term solution to the problem, involving the Constitution, is to end the popular election of senators, returning them to their intended role as spokesmen for the several states. The short-term, easier, and less radical solution is this: we need different Congressmen.
Robert Pratt is host of the top-rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at www.PrattonTexas.com