Congressman Lou Barletta sent me this email yesterday
Dear Gort --
This week, Congress will vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. A Balanced Budget Amendment would put an end to Washington’s out of control spending.
In fact, it’s a measure 74% of Americans agree with, yet Washington Democrats are labeling those of us who support a balanced budget as “extremists!”Extremists?!?
Hardly. 49 of the 50 states have balanced budget requirements.
Decades of reckless spending brought us to the mess we’re currently in. You sent me to Washington to fix it. A Balanced Budget Amendment will do just that.
The solution to this problem isn’t complicated. If you’re spending more money than you’re taking in, you need to spend less of it. Unfortunately, Washington’s career politicians just can’t seem to control themselves so a Constitutional amendment is a necessary step.
President Obama has already made it known that he will veto the Balanced Budget Amendment if it passes in Congress.
Article V of the US Constitution says that an amendment must be passed by two thirds of the House and Senate then ratified by three fourths of the State Legislatures.
The President can not veto a Constitutional Amendment!
In addition to learning what is in the constitution he needs to learn something about history and economics. A law is not needed to balance the budget because there was a surplus as recently as 2000 under our last Democratic President until the Republicans decided tax cuts were more important than balancing the books. If such a requirement existed in the 1940's the United States would not have been able to fight WWII or before that deal with the great depression.
How do you even define a balanced budget? It's a very technical question. Who would decide if the budget is actually in balance if there is a dispute, the Supreme Court? It would take years to get a ruling. Will there be exceptions for war or recessions? Yes, the states have a requirement to have a balanced budget but they issue bonds for projects such as building roads and bridges that can't be paid for out of current taxes. If this actually passes would it eliminate T-Bills and Savings Bonds?
The Constitution is about rights and processes not specific policies. Prohibition was a policy that was added to the constitution that had disastrous results and was later repealed. A budget is a policy document that should be decided in the political arena of Congress and elections.
6 hours ago