Have you taken the Balanced Budged Pledge?

Problem: the federal government keeps spending more than it takes in:

One proposed solution: amend the Constitution to require that the budget be balanced every year.

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Spending Ceiling

December 18, 2011

Here’s an idea for structural reform (though not structural in the same sense as, say, repealing the Seventeenth Amendment), prompted by the discussion generated by a past post: a spending ceiling.

The idea is simple:  Congress would enact a limit on the annual federal budget, similar to the total limit on national debt (the “debt ceiling”).  Any time Congress wants to spend more money than it did the previous year (or rather, more than the existing statutory limit), it has to pass a law (duly agreed by both houses and signed by the president) raising the spending limit.   Read the rest of this entry »

Not Inevitable

July 14, 2011

In the July 4th issue of National Review (page 18), Kevin D. Williamson has a piece that’s informative and also pretty funny (perhaps he hopes to be the next Mark Steyn?), describing how Canada overindulged in deficit spending for decades, but then sobered up in response to fiscal crisis in the ’90s, and has kept deficit spending under control ever since.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tightening the Belt?

February 9, 2011

(Tightening the screws?)

I’ve talked before (here and here) about the possibility of a constitutional amendment to address the structural problems with our democracy that make it tend toward a more and more bloated government.  Apparently Senator Orrin Hatch has proposed a balanced-budget amendment several times before, but this time, as I’ve suggested, the current political climate could actually make it happen.  In fact, this writer says that new Senator Rand Paul will also be proposing a balanced-budget amendment of his own.  Better too many than too few!

In other news, I’m encouraged to hear that new Tea Party-type congressmen and the American people may actually be serious about dealing with the problem of government spending.

Update (February 10th, 2011): National Review Online reports (with links to further details) that the conservatives have won this internal debate among House Republicans:  “GOP Will Fulfill ‘Pledge,’ Cut $100 Billion”.  It’s only one battle, but as far as it goes, I think this is great news!