In 1997, a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would require Congress to balance the budget received sixty-six votes – falling just one vote short of the required two-thirds majority it needed to pass and be sent on to the states for ratification.
That was the last time Congress considered a balanced budget amendment. The national debt at that time was over five and a half trillion dollars. Today it is over fourteen trillion. Coincidence?
Year after year Congress borrows more money and spends all that it borrows; and year after year they vote to increase our national debt limit. It’s like being able to increase your credit limit after you’ve maxed out your credit cards.
Soon the government will reach its current legal debt limit of 14.3 trillion dollars, and the only way that it can continue to borrow is if Congress raises that limit. That means that Obama needs Republican support for the idea. And that means that Republicans have leverage. The question is, will they use it? And will they use it for a long term solution, or just some cosmetic cuts (or reductions in the rate of growth)?
Republicans should welcome the opportunity to put the issue of fiscal responsibility squarely on Obama and the Democrats by linking any debt limit increase to passage of a balanced budget amendment.
With a new conservative majority in the House of Representatives, and several more real conservatives in the Senate, not to mention a greater public sense of our fiscal reality, we have the best chance to push a balanced budget amendment that we have had in years. When you add the fact that many vulnerable Senate Democrats are up for reelection in 2012, now is the time. read more »
There is a story of two very progressive hacks by the name of Lautenberg and Menendez they want more choo choo trains that go fast. But it seems they could care less what the state they were elected to represent thinks and will do whatever they want. They sat in a dark room with Amtrak and hatched a deal to use Amtrak's (read as Federal Money) to get the ball rolling on a commuter tunnel between New York and New Jersey. They and an Amtrak official made a big deal out of the announcement and even talked about high-speed rail. Noting that the infrastructure of the current tunnels and bridges was too old to support high-speed rail. For the life of me I could not figure out how Amtrak was going to pay for the tunnel and high-speed rail.
That quandary was answered today when VP Joe Biden (who regularly rides the trains we pay for) announced that even though we are trillions in debt and running the biggest deficit on record they found a little bit of money to help build more really fast trains to get Biden to work faster. Reuters reports it this way.
U.S. plans to inject $53 billion into passenger rail
By David WarnerReutersupdated 2/8/2011 3:59:12 PM ET 2011-02-08T20:59:12
PHILADELPHIA — Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced an ambitious $53 billion U.S. program to build new high-speed rail networks and make existing ones faster over the next six years.