Orrin Hatch on proposed Balanced Budget Amendment

posted at 10:27 am on January 28, 2011 by The Right Scoop

Mark Levin had Orrin Hatch on his radio show to talk about the newly proposed Balanced Budget Amendment by himself and John Cornyn. Levin fully supports it and says that it is fundamental to putting us on the right fiscal path. Hatch describes what this newly proposed amendment will actually do:

  1. Its mandates that total budgetary outlays for any fiscal year not exceed total revenues unless you have a two thirds vote to overturn it.
  2. It caps federal spending at 20% of GDP.
  3. It requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress every fiscal year.
  4. It prohibits revenue raising measures (like increasing taxes) that are not approved by two thirds of both the House and Senate.
  5. Provisions can be waived if there is a formal declaration of war or if the US is engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security or if two thirds of both the House and the Senate approve.

There are Republican Senators who want to cap spending at around 17% or 18% but Hatch argues that it likely won’t pass if it’s that low. He believes 20% is a reasonable number that will appeal to the 20 or so Democrats needed to get this through the Senate and into the House. Once it passes there it will go to the states where it will need a three-fourths majority, but Hatch is very optimistic that now is the time for this amendment to pass. He’s been working on getting it passed for over three decades.

Noting the spending cap in the amendment, Mark Levin added this via email:

I would prefer the GDP level set at 17%. But 20% is better than 25% and the other provisions of the amendment are very important as well. I believe we really need to get behind this.

UPDATE: Corrected to say three-fourths instead of two-thirds. Thanks to commenter Irishspy for the correction.

Note: Despite the stated length of the video, the audio stops around 6:15. Also this is an edited version of Levin’s interview with Hatch as the full interview went over 12 minutes.

Cross-posted at www.therightscoop.com.


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OT: Ed, you might want to check into this. Maybe it’s been on the site and I just haven’t seen it.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/19/naacp-draws-complaints-covering-george-washington-statue-mlk-day/

WordsMatter on January 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

1. Its mandates that total budgetary outlays for any fiscal year not exceed total revenues unless you have a two thirds vote to overturn it.
2. It caps federal spending at 20% of GDP.
3. It requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress every fiscal year.
4. It prohibits revenue raising measures (like increasing taxes) that are not approved by two thirds of both the House and Senate.
5. Provisions can be waived if there is a formal declaration of war or if the US is engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security or if two thirds of both the House and the Senate approve.

Good start….
…keep waiting to hear about when we will actually institute pay-go……

Baxter Greene on January 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM

ZERO compromise on this. Don’t let the threat be used as a way of extracting short term solutions again.

Pass this sucker. THIS YEAR!

OkieDoc on January 28, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Hell, I’ll go for 20%…put in a provision to reduce it 1% every two years until it hits 17%.

Limerick on January 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

WordsMatter on January 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

You can add this in also:


New Black Panther Party case: The facts are in

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-turn/2011/01/the_us_commission_on_civil.html

The statements indicate several points: 1) the New Black Panther Party case brought by career Justice Department employees was meritorious on the law and the facts; 2) there is voluminous evidence of the Obama administration’s political interference in the prosecution of the New Black Panther Party case; 3) there is ample evidence that the Obama administration directed Justice Department employees not to bring cases against minority defendants who violated voting rights laws or to enforce a provision requiring that states and localities clean up their voting rolls to prevent fraud; 4) the Justice Department stonewalled efforts to investigate the case; and 5) vice chairman Abigail Thernstrom has, for reasons not entirely clear, ignored the evidence and tried to undermine the commission’s work.

….The Republicans need to go full blast on this corruption of the DOJ…..

Baxter Greene on January 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

It caps federal spending at 20% of GDP.

15% would be PLENTY.

BierManVA on January 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

They need 67 votes.

artist on January 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM

or if the US is engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security

No metrics. Sounds like an enormous loophole.

DaveO on January 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Mark Levin and Sarah Palin are just about the only two folks with a broad audience who are willing to tell the entire truth about the left and do it in a no nonsense way. Sure, you have Rush and Hannity, some at Foxnews. But Levin and Palin bring the required amount of incendiary-ness.

WordsMatter on January 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM

It caps federal spending at 20% of GDP.

So it permatizes deficit spending?

Seriously … tax revenues as a percentage of GDP are 17% historically (for like the last 50 years). Only in ONE YEAR did we reach 20% tax revenues and that was in 2000. The rest of the time – we’re at 17%, sometimes a point or two higher – often a point or two lower.

So what Hatch and Cornyn have done is set the spending bar at fantasyland HIGH level.

15% is more realistic … I only saw one year where we only pulled 15% in tax revenues.

You will not pay down the debt for your children at 20% – even if we collect 20% in revenues – which we won’t.

15% cap on spending will pay down debt though.

Another way to put it … with a cap at 20% – if we pull only 15% in revenues that year – that’s a half trillion in deficit spending roughly at current levels. If it happens over two years – we’re in the trillions again.

Half-Baked Measures from Half-Baked Men.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM

15% would be PLENTY.

BierManVA on January 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Agreed – and we’re not going to get that because Hatch and Cornyn are Federal Government cronies to whom CASH EQUALS MONEY. You cut the money they can spend – you cut their power.

This is ridiculous. They suck.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 10:44 AM

5. Provisions can be waived if there is a formal declaration of war or if the US is engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security or if two thirds of both the House and the Senate approve.

Waste of time then. We’re in a military conflict now, and if you think al-Qaeda doesn’t constitute a threat to our national security then I have some WTC office space to sell you. This amendment will be waived from day 1.

The two-thirds requirement is sufficient in itself–if the country really faced an existential crisis that required spending (in contrast to our current existential crisis which requires frugality), getting two thirds of Congress to acknowledge it would be trivial. That “state of war” fluff is just a ruse to reduce this amendment to kabuki.

Fabozz on January 28, 2011 at 10:44 AM

He should not start at 20% because Democrats will want to move it to 25% as a “compromise” or vote against it altogether.

HellCat on January 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Adding more amendments to the US Constitution won’t make any difference ‘cuz the democrats are ignoring what the current Constitution says now.

Skandia Recluse on January 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Fabozz on January 28, 2011 at 10:44 AM

You are correct, my friend.

It’s fantasy to think that two GOP ruling class lawmakers like Cornyn and Hatch are really going to reduce spending. This is a ruse meant to shut the base up – it does …

NOTHING.

Money is power to Orrin Hatch and John Cornyn – you think that they’re going to actually give up some power?

Not on your life.

I’ve already proven tha 20% keeps us in deficit spending. If they’re serious – they’ll do 15% or even less.

Deficit is only half the problem – the other half is the damned DEBT and this does nothing to pay it down.

15% would pay down debt nicely though.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

When Israel demanded a king in place of Samuel and his sons (1 Samuel 8), he warned them that, among other things, the king would demand a 10% tax.

In other words telling the people this was, in the eyes of God’s prophet, a sure fire way to get them to drop the whole idea. It didn’t work. For the trappings of worldly empire, the people would happily pay thru the nose.

Akzed on January 28, 2011 at 10:50 AM

“Once it passes there it will go to the states where it will need a two thirds majority…”

Three-fourths, actually, per Article V. ( http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Article5)

irishspy on January 28, 2011 at 10:51 AM

2nd that limerick

cmsinaz on January 28, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Only if there are no ‘off budget’ programs. Social security is currently off budget.

percysunshine on January 28, 2011 at 11:07 AM

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Honda, you’re usually pretty smart, but you’ve missed the boat. Look at provision 1. They cannot deficit spend without a two-thirds vote.

Personally, I’d take out the two-thirds vote because I can imagine Congresscritters voting to do it rather than risk the political fallout of cutting spending, but something is better than nothing.

Kafir on January 28, 2011 at 11:12 AM

irishspy on January 28, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Thanks!

The Right Scoop on January 28, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Another way to put it … with a cap at 20% – if we pull only 15% in revenues that year – that’s a half trillion in deficit spending roughly at current levels. If it happens over two years – we’re in the trillions again.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Not the way I’m reading that; even if the cap is 20%, if they only pull in 15% in revenues, they can only spend 15%.

#1 on the list:

1.Its mandates that total budgetary outlays for any fiscal year not exceed total revenues unless you have a two thirds vote to overturn it.

I think this means that no matter what the cap is, they can *never* deficit spend – with the 2/3 vote caveat (and for me, I’d remove that altogether – he already has a ‘national defense exception’ in there).

Now, for me, I’d like to see something less than a 20% cap as well, but if they got this passed and it means effectively an end to deficit spending, that’s a damn good start. It does need to be lower so that we can have more ‘extra’ at some point (actual revenues higher than the cap where spending would be capped) so we can apply that to the debt…

Midas on January 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

#2 is a problem — all you have to do is play games with how “GDP” is calculated and voila — you can spend all you want, notwithstanding all of the other concerns that other posters have raised about how it institutionalizes deficit spending.

#5 yup — the US is always engaged in something, somewhere that can be said to be a threat to our national security, and in fact, this addition guarantees that we always willbe so engaged if for no other reason than to provide an excuse for deficit spending.

theblackcommenter on January 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

The amendment, as proposed, would be useless. Congress can, and would, easily circumvent it.

1. Budgetary outlays cannot exceed revenues. What defines an outlay? Social security is off-budget (because of the trust fund/insurance fiction), so it would not count. What defines a revenue? The Treasury sells debt. What stops that from being counted as revenue?

2. Cap federal spending at 20% GDP. What counts as spending? Social security might be excluded, since it is a “trust fund”. Medicare is “insurance”. What stops Congress from not counting those, and similar programs.?

3. Requires a balanced budget. So does California’s constitution. However, if tax revenue does not cover all payments, they borrow money, and call the budget balanced. Unless you default on payments, your budget is balanced.

4. Prohibits revenue raising measures without a two-thirds vote. Social security and Medicare “taxes” are “insurance”, would they count as revenue? Congress will decide that they don’t, and could increase those “insurance payments” with a majority vote.

5. Provisions 1-4 are waived if we are at war, or face a national security threat. The AUMF passed in September 2001 is still in effect, which means we face a national security threat; that means that 1-4 are already waived.

If this amendment were already law, it would have done exactly nothing to restrain Federal spending.

There is no easy way around it. If we want Congress to restrain the growth of the Federal government, we have to elect Congressmen who will act to restrain the growth of government. The last election was a start.

dirc on January 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM

The Club for Growth has little use for Orrin Hatch. His conservative credentials have lost their mojo.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/258283/club-growth-pac-blasts-tea-party-express-robert-costa

onlineanalyst on January 28, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Honda, you’re usually pretty smart, but you’ve missed the boat. Look at provision 1. They cannot deficit spend without a two-thirds vote.

Personally, I’d take out the two-thirds vote because I can imagine Congresscritters voting to do it rather than risk the political fallout of cutting spending, but something is better than nothing.

Kafir on January 28, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Then why put a cap on spending based on GDP at all?

This a ruse.

And besides – remind me what a balanced budget does to pay down debt? We’re broke – it’s too late to simply “balance” the budget – we now have to “unbalance” the budget in the other direction and produce surpluses to pay down debt.

Can you find me ANYTHING in this amendment that will allow us to pay off debt?

Didn’t think so.

Also – you can’t say that “Well, paying down debt will come later”.

No it won’t – if you institutionalize spending up to the limit of tax revenues – that is what you will get – year after year – and you won’t have money to pay down debt.

Bad idea – but then – you only had to look at the two idiots proposing this idea to have a clue that it was bad.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

put in a provision to reduce it 1% every two years until it hits 17%.

Limerick on January 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

What makes 17% such a magic number?

factoid on January 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Now, for me, I’d like to see something less than a 20% cap as well, but if they got this passed and it means effectively an end to deficit spending, that’s a damn good start.

Midas on January 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

First of all … it won’t be a “start” – it’ll be an “end”. Congress won’t do anything else to cut spending after this is done.

I’ve already PROVEN that tax revenues for the last 50 years average 17%. Only in one year (2000) did we collect 20% of GDP in taxes. Now – along come Cornyn and Hatch to establish spending limit at that one-time high fantansy level.

When we collect 15% in revenues – and spend 20% – then we’re going to be a half trillion in the red again (at today’s revenue levels). There is QUITE A BIT of difference between 20% spending and 15% revenues – lots of ZEROS.

And – even if we had a BOOMING economy and everyone paid their taxes and we collected 20% of GDP – what does that do to pay down the debt if we’re spending it.

This is a ruse. The only solution to save this nation is to go to a 15% cap. With any surplus – if we make any – we can then pay down the debt.

We are beyond “the long game” folks – for cryin’ out loud Chris Christie has stated this many times. We’re in the “short game” now where everything we do will hurt.

There is not “for starters” solution. We need the final solution we’re broke.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:29 AM

What makes 17% such a magic number?

factoid on January 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Because for at least the last 50 years – probably more – we only collect 17% of GDP in taxes. Sometimes less actually – sometimes a point or two more.

That’s why it’s “magic”.

But really – the real “magic” number is 15% because it almost guarantees a surplus in every year that can be used to pay down our grand kid’s debt.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Bad idea – but then – you only had to look at the two idiots proposing this idea to have a clue that it was bad.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

…and these two “idiots” have a position of power that highly intelligent people like you only dream about…so who’s the idiot?
The guy whining, or the person in power?

right2bright on January 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

When we collect 15% in revenues – and spend 20% – then we’re going to be a half trillion in the red again (at today’s revenue levels). There is QUITE A BIT of difference between 20% spending and 15% revenues – lots of ZEROS.

Again, if they only collect 15% and the cap is 20% – per this proposal, they won’t be spending 20%, they’ll be spending 15% if that’s all they collect.

So the difference between what they’d do today with 15% collected and spending *more* than 20% versus actually stopping at 15% under this proposal is, as you say, “lots of ZEROS.”

I agree that this does nothing to address the debt, but it *does* stop the deficit spending, which *is* a damn good start, and starts at the “1st Rule When You Find Yourself In A Hole: STOP DIGGING”

For me, I agree – I’d rather see a 15% cap (hell, 10% until the debt is *gone*), but again – an end to deficit spending would be one hell of a improvement over the status quo.

Midas on January 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

…and these two “idiots” have a position of power that highly intelligent people like you only dream about…so who’s the idiot?
The guy whining, or the person in power?

right2bright on January 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Dunno Cornyn spent 8 Million on a totally lost race against Barbara Boxer.

Can’t say I’ve ever made such a collassal mistake as that one.

And if you and I had made it – we’d be fired by now – but not someone in the GOP ruling class.

Why don’t you debate the issue bright? Instead of attacking the messenger.

If we had set spending limits at 20% of GDP in 1950 we’d have run huge deficit spending for every single year since then except the year 2000.

It’s basic math bright – something that hatch and cornyn can’t do – or maybe they can, maybe they just think YOU can’t.

And maybe – they’d be right about that!

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Again, if they only collect 15% and the cap is 20% – per this proposal, they won’t be spending 20%, they’ll be spending 15% if that’s all they collect.

Midas on January 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Then why mention GDP at all – since we have NEVER collected more than 20% of GDP in taxes?

This would be great if we collected 25% of GDP and only spent 20 percent – but that’s the only way this works to produce a surplus to pay down debt.

The problem here – is we HAVE NEVER COLLECTED AS MUCH AS 21 PERCENT of GDP.

It’s a fantasy.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Ahhh… for the heady days before the Progressives got into the act… when the federal government only need 3-5% of GDP. But then we needed ‘help’ from the government on all sorts of things.

How are things like the Federal Reserve, FDA, FCC, EPA and such working out? Dept. of Agriculture no longer a major subsidizer to Big Agriculture? Fannie, Freddie, Sallie and Ginnie all sorted out and off the Treasury teat? Dept. of Education got everyone up to world class standards? Dept. of Energy doing much of anything about energy?

20% institutionalizes the huge federal overhead put in place in the 20th century. It is a great start… but 20%? Is government really able to do the basics right like police the border? Seems like a pretty basic function that 20% just isn’t covering well as there is too much other stuff to spend money on… if we had fewer luxuries we would be able to concentrate on the few things government is needed to do.

Don’t miss what 20% means: it can keep that invasive amount we already have well funded. And Congress will seek to find a way to make it ALWAYS 20%. How much of that regulatory burden do we really want to keep, as a Nation? If you think getting spending down is a problem, now, when there is no ceiling, just wait until you hear politicians say: well we are nearly at the ceiling, so lets spend right up to it. That will be the new ‘sanity’ for a Nation that spent almost all of its time at 3-5% of GDP until the Progressives infested both parties. And if entitlement spending isn’t in that 20% figure, it is meaningless as those are the Ponzi schemes.

ajacksonian on January 28, 2011 at 11:43 AM

For me, I agree – I’d rather see a 15% cap (hell, 10% until the debt is *gone*), but again – an end to deficit spending would be one hell of a improvement over the status quo.

Midas on January 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

It’s treading water at best. You’re assuming here that lawmakers won’t misuse loopholes (like National Emergency) to exceed spending caps.

Do you really want to bet your kid’s liberty on that? Please. These lawmakers have a track record – give an inch – they’ll take a mile.

Also – even if they are total choir boys and live up to their amendment – it won’t pay down debt. When do you propose we do that? Or … are we, having just run up this leviathan debt going to “forward pass” this to our progeny for them to solve?

Okay – that’s a solution I suppose – but then again – why hang an anchor around their neck in the form of a 20% spending amendment that they’ll have to change to pay off that debt?

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

To me the one glaring weakness is paragraph 5:

5. Provisions can be waived if there is a formal declaration of war or if the US is engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security or if two thirds of both the House and the Senate approve.

For example right now the US is clearly engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security. It has been doing that since 9/11/2001 at least, or perhaps since the Cole was nearly sunk. We’ve also been at war with North Korea for sixty years, the armistice notwithstanding. So two of the three outs offered by the amendment are available right now, and in fact have been for most of the past century. So even if the amendment is adopted, whether or not it forces anyone to balance anything will depend on the rules under which the provisions are actually waived — essentially on what Congress at the time wants to do. So the amendment may make good PR, but it will change little in practical terms.

factoid on January 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Don’t miss what 20% means: it can keep that invasive amount we already have well funded. And Congress will seek to find a way to make it ALWAYS 20%.

ajacksonian on January 28, 2011 at 11:43 AM

AHHHHH … YOU GET IT!!

And spot on.

Hatch and Cornyn are BOTH big government elites. 20 percent doesn’t cut government – and that’s A-O-K with them!

We need to force these schmucks to make drastic cuts and not fall for this half-assed measure that is simply meant to shut us up while lawmakers continue to run up debt.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Its mandates that total budgetary outlays for any fiscal year not exceed total revenues unless you have a two thirds vote to overturn it.

I’d like to know if they include interest payments on the debt in the budgetary outlays?

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

There never has been, and there never will be, any Constitutional provision that liberals can’t “re-interpret.”

The federal government is currently juggling the books to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Does anybody REALLY think they won’t find a “creative solution” to anything written down on a mere piece of paper?

logis on January 28, 2011 at 12:04 PM

My goodness people. It is a step in the right direction. Stop whining or we’ll get nothing.

andy85719 on January 28, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Also, they could always include a definition of revenue, outlays, and budget in rider legislation.

andy85719 on January 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Funny, you missed the irony of your post…you call brilliant men “idiots”, chosen leaders, then you whine when someone calls you to task.
Calling people “idiots” is hardly advancing your theories.

Calling for a balanced budget, and getting it past would be a great step in the right direction.
Using the 17-20% of GDP would be a great step in the right direction.
But choosing something like 15% would be better…except in the real world, the world we live in, it wouldn’t be passed so it is of no use.
Might as well say 10%, and cut all of their salaries and benefits by half…great, but it wouldn’t happen.
You have to find the acceptable, not necessarily palatable, solution…The one you know will get passed and put into law…or get nothing. Not the world you want to live in, but the world that has existed for hundreds of years.
Unfortunately, your vast knowledge won’t be put to use, you have to rely on people with decades of experience in dealing with complex government finance to make that decision.

right2bright on January 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

right2bright on January 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

So, us know-nothings, who obviously can’t do math, need to just shut up, sit down and let the great minds in DC take care of us. Ya mean like they’ve been doing? That’s how we have arrived here. We’re hosed because of thinking DC will come up with the ‘acceptable’ answer. There IS NO ‘acceptable’ answer right now. We have to make some very hard choices to fix our finances. We can’t just keep kicking the can down the road. As you said above, if I may be so bold, 15-17% of GDP would be good. That gives us a couple of percentage points to pay off China and others.

It will take folks like you, me, Honda, Palin, Beck, Rush, Laura and others to get the point across, but it CAN be done. Remember November? Remember November!!! It can be done! Do what works, not just what sounds good.

odat on January 28, 2011 at 12:44 PM

And….

Nothing is off the table. SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and all other off-budget items need to be included under the GDP cap. Only way it will work

odat on January 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

It requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress every fiscal year

Is it balanced, or balanced or surplus? Because we need to go into surplus at some point if we are going to pay off the debt, right?

motionview on January 28, 2011 at 12:49 PM

They need to divide the federal budget into two parts, the military-intelligence (not including law enforcement), and the rest. Using current military-intelligence spending as a baseline set the maximum budget for the rest at a level that produces a total budget (military-intelligence, and the rest) at an acceptable level (under 17%), but leaving the military-intelligence budget unlimited. With the provision that disaster relief, and other humanitarian activities carried out by the military, are financed from the non military-intelligence fund, which is limited.

Slowburn on January 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM

The easiest way to deal with the war problem (the US might have lost both World Wars had its spending been capped at 20% of GDP) is just to make a complete exemption for purchasing soldiers and armament. So the budget can only exceed 20% of GDP by roughly the cost of winning a war.

Notice I said “soldiers and armament” instead of “defense” or “the Pentagon’s budget.” Hundreds of billions of defense dollars each year are pork and speculative projects, much of which ends up being nonsense. If there’s a loophole, the defense industry will find a way through it, and the courts will be all too willing to find that staffing pork buildings and whatnot count as “defense,” and we’ll be almost back where we started: spending hundreds of billions more than we take in.

HitNRun on January 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM

odat on January 28, 2011 at 12:44 PM

No, please continue posting, just let us know what your expertise is.
If your expertise is reading blogs, and re-posting what they state, then tell us.
If you have vast experience in government policy and budgets, then tell us.
Just because someone pontificates on a blog, doesn’t make them an expert…but I would venture to say that someone who has decades of experience in handling national budgets. Who has dealt with this issue for decades and has access to economists, and experts…whether you agree or not, you listen to them.
Then if you disagree, explain why, not just re-post what is written on your favorite libertarian blog.
Thanks, but don’t put me in the same category of Laura, a women who actually clerked under a Chief Justice, and a speechwriter to Reagan, when she speaks “law”, or she speaks of policy, she speaks with a depth that I would never be able to understand.
But it doesn’t stop me from commenting, as a normal guy, average American…but they are just comments, and not “policy”. Do I think we need to cut the budget? Certainly, do I know the details, no…and neither does most anyone else posting on here.
In November we basically said “cut the spending, bring the budget back into line, get government out of our lives…the details have to worked out by the ones we elected…and we elected some good people, and hopefully more and better next time.
But most of our depth of knowledge is severely limited to what we choose to read…few of us has experienced the life of a Senator or Congressman.

right2bright on January 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

right2bright you are asking the ruling class to pull the hood over your head, and thanking them for doing so. Our current disaster was directed by people with decades of experience in handling national budgets . You are violating the first rule of logical discourse and the scientific method: appeal to authority. odat may or may not be right, but whether or not he has spent decades in Washington has has no bearing on the question.

motionview on January 28, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Hatch has been working on this for 30 years? It’s either not a good plan or he’s lazy. This was the same kind of thing Teddy used to claim, he’s been working on this for 30 years. After awhile one begins to wonder just how hard are they working if at all. Of course, we would all be better off if they stopped working and played more golf.

Kissmygrits on January 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

motionview on January 28, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Thank you.

By the way, Right, I haven’t been over to the Cato Institute or Mises in a year or so.

Kissmygrits on January 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Amen.

It would appear that some of us here would just prefer to have someone in DC write some new law they claim is the answer to our prayers and we’re jsut supposed to say “OK, fine, let’s do it.” Just because they’ve been squatting up there for 30 years. If they’ve been there that long and it ain’t been fixed yet, their time is up and they need to let someone else take over.

odat on January 28, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Absolutely love this. BBA was part of the Contract in 94.

Next step (a pipe dream) is term limits.

Angry Dumbo on January 28, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Funny, you missed the irony of your post…you call brilliant men “idiots”, chosen leaders, then you whine when someone calls you to task.

right2bright on January 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Right – because a man who bet on two horses (Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter) – both of whom switched parties … is a “brilliant” man. That same “brilliant” man (Cornyn) wasted 8 MILLION dollars on a campaign to defeat Barbara Boxer that internal polls showed he was going to lose anyway. Yeah he’s brilliant alrighty!

And now, let’s talk about Mr. Rocket Scientist – Orrin Hatch – the man who was supposedly Ted Kennedy’s “best buddy”. “Helluva Guy, that Teddy!” That’s what Orrin says about him. Yet – not many of out here in the great unwashed would agree.

Look – you can stick with your broke down horses. Fact is – this amendment has so many loopholes it’s not even funny. We don’t even know what’s considered “budget” here and what’s not. Could very well be the case that they cap spending at 20% – and then spend well above that legally … because other things (like maybe interest on the debt) isn’t included in the legally defined “budget”.

You can fall for these tricks – but most of us won’t.

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM

But most of our depth of knowledge is severely limited to what we choose to read…few of us has experienced the life of a Senator or Congressman.

right2bright on January 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Please man – wipe that drool off your chin!

It IS drool right?

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 1:52 PM

It IS drool right?

HondaV65 on January 28, 2011 at 1:52 PM

LOL

odat on January 28, 2011 at 2:08 PM

You guys aren’t nearly as skeptical of human nature as the Founders were. You can’t just look at what this would LET them do, you have to look at what this will make them want to START doing, too. They won’t play by your rules because their values aren’t your values.

To me, this sounds like a recipe for perpetual warfare (due to para. 5). But if you exempt Defense, you’ll get a militarized society with “defense” expenditures used to replace social programs. Instead of welfare we’ll have a bunch of people conscripted into uniform, doing nothing but collecting “defense” spending checks. A huge part of the population in uniform getting government everything: food, clothing, housing, health care… Is that really where you want America to go?

txhsdad on January 28, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Liberals will reject it, claiming that the waiver for military conflicts will just encourage war

American Elephant on January 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM

American Elephant: And meanwhile manufacture wars to use it to pay for whatever they want.

But let’s be completely honest: allowing an unlimited budget if we’re in a state of war will encourage war in people who want an unlimited budget. In that much, they are correct.

This ‘amendment’ is not worth the paper it’s written on.

Scott H on January 28, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Keyenesians been arguing against a balanced budget since the 30′s.

V-rod on January 28, 2011 at 7:20 PM