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The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.
--Joseph A. SchumpeterThe Trouble With the Balanced Budget Amendment Capping spending at 18% of GDP would be dangerous given the complexity of our economy.
Tom Daschle, former Majority Leader of the Senate, once supported a balanced budget amendment. Now, a member of a powerful DC lobbying firm, he strongly opposes the 18% restraint. He writes in the Wall Street Journal:
Politicians in both parties have been guilty of promising more in spending than the level of revenues they were willing to raise. I was once a supporter of a constitutional balanced budget amendment that was proposed by my friend and former colleague Sen. Paul Simon in the early 1990s. We both believed that the gravity of a constitutional requirement coupled with lawmakers' sworn fidelity to the Constitution would be powerful enough to successfully overcome this political inertia. It won't. The answer will not come with just the constitutional requirement. It comes from members of Congress who are willing to work together to find real solutions, make difficult choices and achieve real results.
Carefully note that Daschle formally supported a balanced budget. Now, he steadfastly opposes an 18% spending limit. Those are very different political concepts. A balance budget entails tax increases. A spending limit prohibits Congress’ power to spend. Yes, Congress could raise taxes, but they are restrained to spending only 18% of GDP.
Daschle admits to over-spending and should admit that politicians - Democrats and Republicans alike - are completely responsible for America’s enormous debt. What Daschle proposes is business as usual - a compromise - which means tax increases and minimal cuts. Exactly what has caused America’s enormous debt problem. Read Daschle’s plea:
Members of Congress and the president must negotiate in good faith and forge a real, compromise solution.
No. America needs an 18% spending limit. Politically Powerful Predators, in and out of government, will always exist. America needs a constitutional amendment, limiting spending and limiting the opportunities of the Predators to fleece the American public.