It's Time For States To Call A Constitutional Convention And Pass A Balanced Budget Amendment

It's Time For States To Call A Constitutional Convention And Pass A Balanced Budget Amendment
It has been more than three quarters of a century since the first balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution was proposed in Congress; and it has been more than half a century since the first resolution calling for an Article V convention to propose a balanced budget amendment was first introduced in the state legislatures. Despite many failures there is a new battle in the states to impose this fiscal discipline on the federal government, and this time is different.

This month Georgia became the 21st state with an active resolution calling for an Article V convention to propose a balanced budget amendment. Similar resolutions have been introduced in more than a dozen states in the current legislative session, including Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Article V Caucus comprising 79 legislators from 29 states has formed to plan an Article V convention.

State legislators have rightly concluded that they can no longer wait for Congress to propose a balanced budget amendment. The only tool that Congress has left to constrain spending is the requirement to approve an increase in the debt limit. But Congress recently approved an increase in the debt limit by stripping out all amendments that would have deceased spending, including a modest proposal to change the way the federal government calculates the consumer price index. Congressional approval of increases in the debt limit has become a pro forma exercise.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that under current law over the next 25 years federal spending will increase to 36 percent of national income. The increased deficits and debt that accompany this spending will result in retardation and stagnation in economic growth that will make it virtually impossible to balance the bud
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