With a “fiscal calamity” endangering our standard of living and undermining national security, it is time for the United States to adopt a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. That's the argument of Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal.
The GOP senators contend there is no long-term solution on the table that would change the spending habits in Washington.
“There has to be another way, and there is,” they write.
“Republicans in the Senate are united in our concern about our nation's fiscal future. Before we consider saddling our children with even more debt, we must enact significant spending cuts and enforceable caps on future spending.
"For the long term, to prevent both this Congress and its successors from hijacking the promise of American prosperity, we also need a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, like the one we and all 47 Senate Republicans have introduced.”
The senators write that what the government is doing is the equivalent of a household that brings in $44,000 a year borrowing an additional
$30,000 annually to spend $74,000.
“The federal government is doing exactly that on an unimaginable scale, running historic deficits in excess of a trillion dollars for three consecutive years and borrowing 40 cents for every dollar spent.
"Our government has balanced its budget only five times in half a century.”
The two warn that without “permanent, structural budget reforms” future Congresses will not be obligated to follow whatever agreement is reached on reducing the deficit and therefore they must be compelled to do so.
“By amending the Constitution, Congress will be forever bound to match our nation's expenditures with our revenues,” they argue.
“Toothless resolutions and statutory speed bumps have proven easy to evade or ignore. Indeed, the reason many lawmakers don't want a balanced budget amendment is the exact reason why we need it: It would permanently end the types of legislative trickery that have now brought our country to the fiscal brink.”
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