Skip to comments.The Constitutional Amendment That Would Rein in Spending
Posted on 02/08/2018 5:37:54 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Some people have called for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution as a means of reining in a big-spending Congress.
Thats a misguided vision, for the simple reason that in any real economic sense, as opposed to an accounting sense, the federal budget is always balanced.
The value of what we produced in 2017our gross domestic producttotaled about $19 trillion. If the Congress spent $4 trillion of the $19 trillion that we produced, unless you believe in Santa Claus, you know that Congress must force us to spend $4 trillion less privately.
Taxing us is one way that Congress can do that. But federal revenue estimates for 2017 are about $3.5 trillion, leaving an accounting deficit of about $500 billion. So taxes are not enough to cover Congress spending.
Another way Congress can get us to spend less privately is to enter the bond market. It can borrow. Borrowing forces us to spend less privately, and it drives up interest rates and crowds out private investment.
Finally, the most dishonest way to get us to spend less is to inflate our currency. Higher prices for goods and services reduce our real spending.
The bottom line is the federal budget is always balanced in any real economic sense.
For those enamored of a balanced budget amendment, think about the following. Would we have greater personal liberty under a balanced federal budget with Congress spending $4 trillion and taxing us $4 trillion, or would we be freer under an unbalanced federal budget with Congress spending $2 trillion and taxing us $1 trillion?
Id prefer the unbalanced budget. The true measure of governments impact on our lives is government spending, not government taxing.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailysignal.com ...
The way to rein in spending is to disallow progressive income tax rates.
Those taxed the lowest rate (0%) have absolutely no qualms when a power hungry politician proposes a new program. No skin off the teeth of the one not paying for it.
If everyone had skin in the game, those congressional phones would be ringing a lot more often.
The nation needs a constitutional amendment that limits congressional spending to a fixed fraction, say 20 percent, of the GDP. It might stipulate that the limit could be exceeded only if the president declared a state of emergency and two-thirds of both houses of Congress voted to approve the spending.
Why the need to give Fedzilla an artificial ceiling (see the current ‘debt ceiling’ BOHICA) when it fails to adhere to the Constitution as it stands? IE: A1S8, gold/silver tender, illegal Ponzi schemes such as SS/MediXYZ
What will MORE verbiage ‘correct’ when plain English ‘shall make NO law’, ‘shall NOT be infringed’, ‘NO property’, ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ is ignored or ‘lawyered’ away?
My issue with the Balanced Budget Amendment is with enforcement. What would happen if Congress passed an unbalanced budget after the adoption of a BBA?
as far as the U.S. is concerned,
Who first proposed deficit spending?
What has been the "national debt" from day one of the republic to the present? Has it ever been zero?
I do acknowledge that discussing this topic as "economists" might is beyond the reach and understanding of normal people, but still...
The theories might be too complex, but the questions and answers are plain common English. Why do they seem to be unanswerable?
Here is where I ended up; I still have no answers.
History of U.S. spending
I DO expect to find historical gaps even in the official records, but the questions still remain...
I will post them later.
Comments on the PDF link are welcome.
How can we support this on one hand and a deal to spend more money than ever in the history of the country on the other?
We need to limit spending, limit taxes (total, Federal, state, and local), and balance the budget.
A constitutional amendment would limit spending like the second amendment limits gun control
The charts ignore The period from 1776 to 1789. We ran up enormous debts in that period, for the war. We paid them off with the sale of lands to the west.
I’ts worth pointing out that our founders got in a shooting war over pennies...
To a normal person, this is economist talk, aka smoke and mirrors, accounting sleight of hand, mumbo jumbo.
Calling it "real economic sense" is just adding insult to injury. We're just too ignorant to understand, aka appeal to authority, or as Mark twain, I think, said, Lies, danmned lies and statistics.
It is abolutely possible, I am sure, to determine what the budget was for any year for which records exist, and convert it to, say, 1950 dollars, all the way to last year, and compare what was actually spent compared to the budget for the fiscal year as adopted by Congress as required by the Constitution.
Next subject as obfuscated by our elected politicians (I call them elected criminals.) When did deficit spending (and resulting increase in the National debt) become routine, rather than an emergency rare event?
Who originated it and when? which Congress? Which Party? Which specific politician sponsored the first (no-depression, non-war deliberate) intended deficit? which other elected politicians endorsed it?
Are those questions too difficult or impossible to answer?
I'm talking historical facts, not opinions.
How exactly does dragging the "Gross Domestic Product" fairy clarify understanding rather than obfuscate the relationship between Federal Budgets and and the explosion of the National debt increases?
Wouldn't the amount of unbacked totally worthless paper non-money explain it more clearly?
We could be lucky and have the author of The Black Swan write a book, "Federal Budgets and the National Debt for Dummies for us non-elected Federal Criminals...
Well, ignoring them did not make them go away; They seem to still be with us to this day...
Clearly some master (elected?) criminals absconded with the funds collected from the "sales of lands to the west."
Or maybe the indians did.
Bottom line, the debt from 1776 to 1789 never went away, or not enough public land to the west was sold.
WHY DOES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STILL OWN SO MUCH LAND TODAY INSTEAD OF SELLING IT TO PAY OFF THE ORIGINAL 18TH CENTURY DEBTS (PLUS, PRESUMABLY, 200 PLUS YEARS OF INTEREST?
Here’s an idea:
How about a “balanced budget amendment” the that includes a reminder of what the Constitutional bounds of the Federal Government are - and forces the Feds to shrink to Constitutional levels...
Seriously - if the US had a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution - the response would be massively higher taxes. Consider how much the Feds spend per actual dollar in revenue - it is insane.
Imagine what a Constitutionally-bound Federal Government would look like. DC would practically be a ghost town.
The sad reality is - the debt burden to each and every US citizen today is such an asinine amount as to be laughable. Who’s going to pay for that? At the current rate - the burden per person will be, literally, a lifetime of income.
Already too many taxpayers work 6 months of the year+ simply to pay the tax man (at the Federal and State level).
As to your proposal that everyone should have to pay SOMETHING is a valid point. I would further suggest that NOBODY should get a refund of more than they paid in in taxes. Period. It isn’t a “refund” it is a pure redistribution of wealth - it is a form of welfare that is both unfair to those paying taxes, and to those receiving it because it makes them slaves to the government (and eternally and generationally Democrat voters).
And couldn’t we start with an audit of where the money goes, including DoD and CIA, but especially DOD.
And, whether some thing he’s a kook, traitor, or a moron, if I’m not mistaken, Ross Perot carried around a book that was written by some college kid that detailed where all the money was going. I want to say it was written some girl getting her Master’s or something like that. It had all sorts of off-the-wall stuff that the government, WE, was funding.
And before we get to any of that, it would be real nice to know about all the redundant federal programs, the numerous overlaps of federal law enforcement and the REAL price of immigration, legal and illegal, and refugee programs.
Then we can start with the Balanced Budget crap.
“And, whether some thin[k] hes a kook, traitor, or a moron, . . .”
I liked Ross Perot. If I jumped into the political arena, I imagine I would sound like him.
They’d just change their formula on calculating GDP
And with all the crap going on with FISAGate and all the other 9 Clinton-Obama scandals, I want DOJ, CIA, DOS and any other agency they had their hand in have a forensic audit
And while we are at it, I came from an industry that was an efficient market, 3 players with room for 2.5 and the competition was fierce.
With that said, why do we have 16 Intelligence Agencies? Especially after FISAGate when they directed their focus on anyone but the bad guys? Consolidate them, shut some of them down, and put them where they belong in DOD and lower that number to 3 and give me a number of what the cost savings will be as they share in getting us to budgetary balance...
FReepers would run screaming into the night at the size of the military budget under any of these “rein in spending” plans.
Some say, now, that he was a spoiler to make sure that Clinton won. Who knows. All I remember is him carrying around that book, talking about how much money was being flushed down the toilet.
And I think he got something like 16%. So, he must have been saying something right.
I’m not sure there really is that many, actually. And, now that DHS has mutated into an actual agency instead of being nothing more than a clearing house responsible for deconfliction and information sharing, it’s a prime example of how out of control the government is. Everyone needs their own watchdogs, because they’re all so corrupt and suspicious of each other.
As for the 16, we have NSA, CIA, DIA, Geospatial, DHS(kind of), the other agencies and the military have units/branches. But, I think that number was thrown out there for dramatics.
But 1000% right on the forensic audits. I’d love to see those books and see where all the money is being spent. How many first class plane tickets and 5-star hotels were paid for, because our personnel “need it”.
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