Constitutional Amendment Archive

Another Path To Solvency

By John Lumbard. The legislatures of seventeen states have recently passed a bill calling for a constitutional convention that would be focused solely on the drafting of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.  Each of these bills explicitly states that it will be declared null and void if the Supreme...
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Balanced Budget Amendment Poll

A July poll, conducted by CNN, shows that 74% of Americans are now in favor of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.  It wouldn't be surprising to see that the numbers have ticked a bit higher in August, because the debt-ceiling debate revealed that Congress is far from mustering the...
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Balanced Budget Amendment Pros and Cons

In recent weeks there has been a debate in the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal regarding the merits of a balanced-budget amendment, or BBA.  First came an opinion piece by Senators DeMint (SC) and Snowe (Maine) in favor of an amendment (so far this year 48 senators have co-sponsored...
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Cut, Cap, and Balance, Explained

Budget proposals are coming fast and furious in Washington these days.  Most of it is political chatter, but there HAVE been a number of proposals that aspire to responsible government for the long term.  Today's top story in that regard is "Cut, Cap, and Balance" which would smooth over some near-term...
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Problems With a Balanced Budget Amendment?

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal Senators Snowe and DeMint wrote an opinion piece (subscription req'd) which points out that none of today's budget negotiations offer anything like a long-term cure for the fiscal irresponsibility that has become the norm in Washington, DC.  They argue that this goal is best achieved...
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The Most Predictable Economic Crisis In History

That's what Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, said about our government's ever-so-slowly-developing fiscal calamity in this Senate Budget Committee testimony. The President disavowed the findings of his commission, but it continued on in a scaled-down group of six members (all Senators) called the Gang of...
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Speech On Boston Common

By John Lumbard.   "In the last 75 years there's been a dramatic change in our nation's Congress.  Our legislators used to say and believe that they represented the interests of all Americans, and were working to do what what’s best for the nation as a whole.  Now they say that...
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The Farmer and the Lottery

By James Schaefer.   The farmer wins the lottery and is being interviewed by a news reporter.  "What are you planning to do, now that you've got all this money?"  Replies the farmer,"Well, I guess I'll just keep farming 'til the money's gone." Today farmers enjoy so much taxpayer support that it's fair...
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The Scott Adams Challenge

By James Schaefer.   Scott Adams, the author of Dilbert, recently had a feature article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled "How to Tax the Rich", and he asked readers to think up incentives that might allow our biggest taxpayers to feel a bit better about dropping hundred-thousand-dollar checks into the ravenous maw...
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Amendment Filed. Call Your Congressman!

Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)  have introduced a Balanced-Budget Amendment to the Constitution that---are you sitting down?---includes a 20% of GDP cap on federal spending!  It requires a 3/5 vote of both houses to run deficits or overspend, but in other respects is very much like a bill...
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