Balanced budget amendment sound


How can the balanced budget amendment be an easy way out of prioritizing the role of government? Our congressmen, whom we assume make the most appealing painless decisions when it comes to appropriating funds for various programs, would have passed this amendment years ago if it was the easy way out. The reason why the Congress and the executive have placed little importance on balancing the federal checkbook is that they nor the rest of us will feel pain in the short term. The consequences of this irresponsible spending will have their impact in the long term, 15 to 20 years down the road. Most of us balance our checkbooks not simply out of principle, but also because of the consequences of violating those principles. Such consequences include a bad credit rating and the loss of property.

I would think that anyone who believes strongly in the eternal goodness of every social program, be it welfare, Medicare, etc., (which I do not) would have a vested interest in balancing the budget. Based on most number-crunching analyses of budget spending, the government's discretionary portion will shrink and come to an end in about 20 years or more because as the total national debt goes up, so does its interest. And nobody can exactly forecast what the economic weather will be like, but most analysts say it will be cloudy and dreary. This balanced budget amendment is the best impetus I have seen to finally balance the budget. If this amendment is really a toothless tiger, then this country is headed towards a financial catastrophe. The impact of the balanced budget amendment would not be painless, but it would be like suffering a bruise now compared to being placed in intensive care later if we do not balance the budget. Remember, even Congress balances the budget from now on, we still will be servicing a $4.5 trillion debt. If the amendment is passed but made toothless with the argument that the power of the judiciary has been removed from the process, remember that this was agreed to by the Republicans after some Democrats made it the condition for their votes.

Chris Dorman

Mechanical Engineering Senior

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