Chanting “hands off the Constitution,” the crowds in Phoenix, Arizona, were ready to preserve the U.S. Constitution. Dressed up as the Founding Fathers, such as Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, protestors opposed amending the Constitution. The primary intent of this Arizona Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) Planning Convention was to set the groundwork for a possible future Constitutional Convention.
But our national debt problem hasn’t originated from the Constitution; it all comes down to the politicians that aren’t following it. Promoters of a BBA Convention, will require Congress to balance the budget, yet the current Constitution reveals that it would only make unconstitutional spending
Let us explain.
Revenue would have to equal spending. Currently our revenue is lower than spending. Would the federal government lower spending? Highly unlikely. Would it increase taxes? Or could the federal government take the Constitutional approach where Congress can only spend money on what is authorized by the Constitution. Doing so would trim over 80% of our federal budget! It would put us well on our way to paying off the national debt.
Unfortunately, under this balanced budget amendment, it would only justify what Congress is already doing. It would make it okay for the federal government to spend as much as it wanted as long as the revenue matched it. Get ready for even higher taxes and the elimination of enumerated powers.
Just as alarming, The New American
writer Christian Gomez, showcases a very key loophole in the BBA in his article, The Unbalanced Budget Amendment
. The loophole reads “requiring that in the absence of a national emergency the total of all Federal appropriations made by the Congress for any fiscal year may not exceed the total of all estimated Federal revenues for that fiscal year.” So the only requirement to not balance the budget would be a national emergency.
Can you guess how many separate national states of emergency the United States is currently under? …32! And under 40 years of the National Emergencies Act, Congress has never exited a single national state of emergency. So even if everything went smoothly with the BBA, Congress still wouldn’t be required to balance the budget because of our 32 national emergencies!
Talk about a lot of work with no results! Get on track with the real solution. It’s time to say enough is enough! James Madison says it best in Federalist #45:
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
If you agree that the federal government needs to take a step back, find out what you can do today. Let’s hold our politicians accountable by first understanding the Constitution ourselves! Join The John Birch Society in celebration of Constitution Week
. If you’re in the Appleton, Wisconsin, area, then please stop by. We will be handing out free pocket Constitutions and have many other Constitutional products available for purchase!
(The above charts reflect 2015 United States debt.)