After the constitutional convention, many of the states, especially the southern states (South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia), felt that the constitution needed a list of rights which could not be touched by the federal government, the right to bear arms, the right to freedom of speech, religion, press, freedom to assemble, etc. The group of people who wanted the list of rights were called the “anti-federalists”, and the anti-federalists were personified by Thomas Jefferson. So Jefferson and Hamilton (Hamilton was the leader of the Federalists) brokered a deal. The southern states would sign on to the constitution, and they would pass some amendments to list out the rights. When the Congress first assembled, James Madison proposed 12 amendments. Amendments 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 were all ratified, and article 2 was ratified in 1992. But second to the Second Amendment, article 1 is the one our country needs the most. It was a balanced budget amendment.
The Case For A Balanced Budget
Senators Paul, Rubio, Cruz, Graham, Scott, (Former) DeMint, and countless others in the Senate and House of Representatives have pushed to add a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. Don’t get me wrong, there are good types of debt: war debt, promoting America’s interests abroad… but it is the bad deficit that we are worried about: this is the ineffective social programs, obamacare, bailing out banks, etc. The vast majority of the states have a balanced budget requirement. Even during this tough economic time, most states have been able to prioritize and keep themselves out of debt. When the congress is finally required not to spend more than they take in, they will no longer able to sidestep tough decisions, and be finally answerable to the american public.
Balancing the budget today will avoid even harder times later. The only president in American history to pay off the national debt was Andrew Jackson (No, despite what the media will tell you, we did not have a surplus during the Clinton era). The years after Jackson were, economically at least, some of the most prosperous in history, and this time lasted until the War Between The States, when President Lincoln racked up a MASSIVE federal deficit. Also, the Great Depression was caused directly by the federal deficit. The Federal Reserve, the Department of the Treasury, and the Works Progress Administration spent infinitely more than they made, and this came back to bite them after the 1929 banking collapse. And for the record, the New Deal did NOT end the Great Depression, WWII did.
Basically, making the Congress financially answerable to the American Public will satiate the otherwise insatiable desire of congress to spend. And for an added bonus, the “Tax and Spend” days will be laid to rest, forever.
“It is time to create a balanced budget amendment and return this country to limited spending”- Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Republican Contender for the 2012 Election Newt Gingrich
The American people want a balanced budget. They want Congress to stop this barbaric practice of perpetual deficit spending. It really, if you think about it, is a form of taxation without representation.”-Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), Tea Party leader and possible 2016 Presidential Contender