Balanced Budget Amendment Fails in House Vote

No big surprise here. Reported by the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have forced Congress to balance its budget every year as a way to reverse years of deficit spending.

A majority of House members supported the balanced budget measure, but supporters fell short of achieving the two-thirds majority needed to amend the Constitution.

Republicans who backed the amendment said it was the only way to get Congress to put its fiscal house in order. Democratic critics said a balanced budget requirement would result in drastic cuts in Medicare and other social programs when economic downturns put the budget out of balance.

It was the first House vote on a balanced budget amendment since 1995, when the House approved it but the bill fell one vote short in the Senate.

In other words, the vote itself was a compromise, but no one could have hoped for passage. And it’s a good thing, too, because the balanced budget amendment is a horrible idea.

3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ScottP says:

    I’m all for responsible government. I would love it if our government could operate deficit free. However the last time that our government when more than 5 years without a deficit was 1920-1930 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/hist01z1.xls).

    Expecting our government to work debt free just because you say so isn’t realistic. The yearly 3/5 vote to allow a deficit would just become a formality that gives GOP representatives the chance to grandstand.

    Here’s the text of the bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.J.RES.2:

    All the proposed amendment does is lay the blame of any fiscal problems at the feet of the executive branch. I’m glad this didn’t pass.

  2. thiokuutoo says:

    The whole “balanced budget” sound bite is ludicrous in concept and would be a disaster if it was ever applied.

    The fallacy of “you have to balance your household budget every day” is pure BS. The fallacy of corporations balancing that budget every day or year is ludicrous. There is no need or reason to do so, yet the Republicans hate (they hate a lot of things) of Keynesian economics is such they will say and do anything, including destroying America, to “prevent” deficit spending. BS

    Deficit spending is good, especially in constricting economic times (gee just like the last 5 years). As is taxing the ultramillionaires. Clinton showed how it works right. Bush and the clowns (along with a bunch of Dems) show us what happens when you do not.

  3. faux_american says:

    The proposed amendment isn’t really about balancing the budget: it’s about codifying the GOP’s ideology of never raising taxes and cutting (or destroying) government by any means necessary.

    If the amendment was really about balancing the budget, it wouldn’t have including section 4, which makes it difficult to raise revenue.  

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