Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 4:39 PM ET, 01/28/2011

Senate Republicans renew balanced-budget push

By Felicia Sonmez

The drive for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution gained support this week as two groups of Republicans introduced proposed amendments in the Senate, with at least one senator tying a balanced budget to a vote on raising the debt ceiling.

Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.) unveiled their proposal Thursday. Lee, who is among the most conservative members of the new freshman class, is not only pushing for an amendment but also said Thursday that he will block any effort to raise the debt ceiling unless party leaders reach a bipartisan agreement on a balanced budget amendment. On Friday, Lee's policy and communications director, Dan Hauser, confirmed the senator's position to The Post.

"There will only be one circumstance that he will not filibuster a debt ceiling increase, and that will be that a balanced budget will have passed through both houses," Hauser said.

The announcement by Lee and Kyl followed one by fellow Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah) and John Cornyn (Texas), who on Wednesday held a news conference with nine other Republican senators to announce their proposed balanced budget amendment. In 1997, Hatch led the charge on a resolution for a balanced budget amendment that won the support of 66 senators -- including 11 Democrats -- but ultimately fell one vote short of the two-thirds necessary for passage.

Passage of the amendment requires a two-thirds majority in both chambers and ratification by three-quarters of the states.

Hatch and Cornyn unveiled their proposed amendment on the same day the Congressional Budget Office released a report projecting that the federal deficit will reach a record $1.5 trillion this fiscal year, a number that Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) on Wednesday called an economic "tipping point" for the country.

Both Republican proposals would require a balanced budget for each fiscal year and would mandate that any effort to raise taxes would need a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers. The Lee-Kyl proposal also includes a provision requiring a two-thirds vote in both chambers in order to raise the debt ceiling or run a deficit in a particular year; the Hatch-Cornyn plan does not.

In addition, the Lee-Kyl amendment would cap spending at no more than 18 percent of the country's gross domestic product, while the Hatch-Cornyn amendment would set the ceiling at 20 percent. Both caps represent a drop from the current spending level of 25 percent.

The two plans also operate under different timelines: The Lee-Kyl amendment would take effect in the second fiscal year after ratification, while the Hatch-Cornyn proposal would take effect in the fourth year.

Hauser said he believes that having two different proposals is "going to strengthen whichever is the final product."

"Obviously, it's good to have the two bills, because what's going to spur us is a good amount of debate about what's actually necessary to get this behemoth which is federal spending under control," he said.

A total of 21 Republican senators are backing the amendment proposed by Hatch and Cornyn. Eight Republicans are supporting the Lee-Kyl proposal, with five more expected to announce their support on Monday. No Senate Democrats have yet signed onto either plan; earlier this week, senior Democrats expressed skepticism about the idea.

"I don't support a constitutional balanced budget amendment that claims balance by raiding the Social Security trust fund," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) told reporters Wednesday at a Capitol Hill news conference. "I don't think that's serious in terms of balancing any budget."

Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, acknowledged that there's "a mix of views" among Democrats. He added that previous balanced budget amendment proposals have "been filled with loopholes and gimmicks."

"The most serious approach, I believe, to dealing with this problem is to get together on a bipartisan basis and put together a long-term plan, rather than pretending that these other things that are filled with all kinds of loopholes will do the job," Van Hollen said.

In the House, several Republican lawmakers have introduced balanced budget amendments. A proposal by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has already attracted 178 co-sponsors, including Democratic Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah), Dan Boren (Okla.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Mike Ross (Ark.) and David Scott (Ga.). Some House Republicans are also weighing whether to tie passage of a balanced budget amendment to a vote on a debt ceiling.

By Felicia Sonmez  | January 28, 2011; 4:39 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Joe Biden: Onion spoof is 'hilarious'
Next: Secretary Clinton: 'We're not advocating any specific outcome' in Egypt (Sunday talk shows)

Comments

Republicans have no intention of balancing the budget. In the history of this version of the GOP since the late 70s, NO GOP president and NO GOP House has EVER submitted a balanced budget! And during that same time, the fought Clinton tooth and nail when HE tried to do it, in a struggle so vicious that it ended in impeachment proceedings in retaliation!!

Balancing the budget would go against their cynical strategy to "starve the beast" begun under reagan wherein the goal was to run up the debt so high as to create a budget crisis and portray privatizing SS and Medicare etc as the ONLY solution! You can hear them debating that right now!

HOW DARE THEY embark on a deliberate and cynical plan to bankrupt the nation and then want the old, the retired, the sick and the poor to pay for their perfidious political goals??!!

Im just wondering when the corporate media is going to report on this dastardly rape of the country's financial future!!

Posted by: TominNH | January 31, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

A balanced budget amendment in theory is a worthy endeavor. However, it is unclear how it could possibly get a two-thirds vote of both House and Senate in the 112th Congress. The only way it will get through, even as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, would be if it as full of loopholes as PAY-GO. If we are going to devote resources to a constitutional amendment in the 112th Congress, let's put through an amendment to the amendment process itself which will eliminate the unnecessary convention now required by Article V and permit States to directly initiate amendment proposals. This will break the current de facto federal congressional and judicial monopoly on interpreting the Constitution, and permit grassroots patriots on the state level to restore the Constitution by amendments such as a balanced budget amendment. This will also open a path to other constitutional amendments to permanently constrain future federal overreach of the sort rejected by the people in November. See http://www.timelyrenewed.com

Posted by: tr1123 | January 30, 2011 12:31 AM | Report abuse

And how much will this cost when they already have the power to balance a budget? U know, since US is broke and all....

Posted by: Chops2 | January 29, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

The more than 1 TRILLION dollars spent on the Republicans' criminal enterprise in Iraq hasn't even been counted as part of the budget or deficit because Republicans are crooks and Democrats are spineless.

Posted by: jjedif | January 29, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, 2/3 of the votes in the Senate, 2/3 of the votes in the House and 3/4 of the States agreeing. And all that before the debt ceiling has to be raised.

But the Teapublicans are men of their words. Sen. Lee from Utah said he'll filibuster raising the debt ceiling until all of the above are fulfilled. I believe him.

The Government better get ready to shut down. This man ain't budging.

Otherwise he'll be proven a hypocrite!

Wait a minute! Is he from the Tea Party?

Posted by: kishorgala | January 29, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans Have Ruined YOu GOOD America"

..."As a registered Voter/Vet USAF, the "Criminal/Record/Republicans proves they have ruined you good America, losing a record 8.5 Million jobs, allowing the top two percent richiest of the rich to get $500 Billion Dollar tax cut that will be added to the deficit, as they rake in corporate kickbacks, and bribes to the highest contributer, as they deny 32 Million American's health Care and try to repeal the "Health Care Reform Bill" Wow, No wonder America is in trouble it keeps voteing Republicans back in, and they keep kicking the Middle Class and Independents in the TEETH! That's just what you deserve too, as the Republicans go laughing all the way to the bank, and cut social programs, set up to help American's in the "WORSE REPUBLICAN RECESSION" since the Great Depression, "WOW, just goes to show you folks, American's don't pay attention especially the Independents, who to this Voter/Vet USAF, are stupid, and "YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID!

Posted by: ztcb41 | January 29, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I just love how the Republicans strongarmed the president into tax cuts for billionaires and thus 400 BILLION IN LOST FUNDS to the projected deficit, then declared themselves to be the party of fiscal prudence with the other sides of their mouths.

I'm still waiting for the Republicans to cancel the government healthcare insurance policies they so despise and go out and buy private insurance policies.

Rent "Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story" and please bear in mind that Mr. Atwater was able to claim he didn't make the Horton ad because he didn't make the ad, Roger Ailes did.

When Arlen Specter called this inept batch of John Birch Society lunatics "cannibalistic" he was being too kind.

In December 2008 we lost over 500,000 jobs in one month alone, and we were headed into double-digit unemployment and a full-blown depression. If you want to welcome back predatory lenders, deregulating Wall Street, and have our country turn into a sideshow again, then don't vote them out. But if you want to bring sanity back to our country vote in 2012 and run these inept, shortsighted, dishonest and most of all venal lunatics out of office.

Also take that megalomaniac who looks and acts like a real-life version of Cartman (Roger Ailes) by the scruff of his neck (if you can find it underneath all that blubber) and throw HIM into that orchestra pit he's been kicking decent people into.

It's too bad a lot of people traditionally don't vote during the mid-terms. Now we have to put up with these hacks for two years. We need to address the fact that our country is currently in a state of embarrassment - these batch*t lunatics in the Republican party are our fiscal crisis.

Posted by: jakrdy | January 29, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I favor balancing the budget. However, I don't see why we need any special legislation to do it. Clinton did without any special legislation. Is this all about political theater?

Also, I notice that the Republicans seem to be lacking any specifics as to how they would balance the budget (even the child prodigy Paul Ryan did not give us a specific list). Given that the only major program area that is not supported by the majority of the American people (according to Gallup surveys) is foreign aide it seems as if there may need to be some revenue enhancements as well spending cuts.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | January 29, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

drjcarlucci do you lie professionally or is it just a hobby?

Posted by: greeenmtns | January 29, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

drjcarlucci do you lie professionally or is it just a hobby?

Posted by: greeenmtns | January 29, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Considering that Reagan and Bush II added more to the deficit than any other presidents, all this noise coming from the right is pretty laughable.

Yes the budget should be balanced, but not on the backs of the poor. Cut military spending. Tax the rich more. Start by cutting benefits for those with higher incomes, i.e. cut health care benefits from the top down instead of from the bottom up. Let's see just how much the GOP would like having all health care benefits eliminated for everyone in Congress for a start, and for those fascists on the SCOTUS.

Posted by: greeenmtns | January 29, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Democrats know only one thing.

Spend.

Where's the money come from?

The "Rich" people.

It's the same old song of the Socialists for tha past 100 years.

If only Obama didn't give tax cuts to the rich.

He didn't give tax cuts.

He just didn't agree to raise taxes.

Democrats had their chance.

They ran California straight into the ground, and Illinois, and New York.

Obama spent $1 trillion on a stimulus that stimulated unemployment to 9.7%, with the housing market still in ruins.

It paid off all his cronies though - the public employee unions, the teachers unions, and all the rest.

Obama's annual deficit is now $1.4 trillion, 3 times what Bush's was.

And Democrats still sing the same song...

We can't starve children!

We can't gut Medicare!

We can't destroy Social Security!

Just bring all the troops back from Obama's Wars!

The voters completely rejected Liberalism and the Democrats approach.

Most Americans don't want the entire country to end up like the Liberal paradise California.

The Democrats want more of the same - spending, debt, miserable economy, and Obama wars.

Those are the only cards they have, it never changes.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | January 29, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Republican don Quioxtes keep tilting at mythical windmills, know that they look good to the unwashed masses and t-baggers, and also knowing that this cow dung doesn't have a chance of a snowball in the Gobi desert of even getting a hearing.

I would remind my friends that republicans controlled the senate, house, and white house from 2001 to 2006 and NOT ONE mention of their righteous indignation about abortion, deficits, border security, illegal immigration, etc., etc., that they are so loudly screaming to the heavens about now.

The reality is that republicans don't want to outlaw abortion, don't want to balance the budget, don't want to end the wars, don't want border security, don't want to control illegal immigration, don't want to REALLY do anything.... except bash democrats, win elections, and do the bidding of their corporatist masters.

After all, DEFICITS DON'T MATTER.

Posted by: insider9909 | January 29, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

It is a good sign to see the Conservative Republicans open to increasing the taxes.

That is one way to balance the budget.

Common people use this approach. They try to increase their revenues by investing, finding a second job, etc., to match the expenses.

See my use of the term "common?"

Posted by: kishorgala | January 29, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

A missed opportunity! The Republicans could have it passed under their won Regime a few years ago!

Ah! They are not serious about it! It is a popularity ploy! Just like the health care repeal. See, we tried but those Demos! Grrrrr!

Posted by: kishorgala | January 29, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

If the republicans want to balance the budget or reduce spending they should pass a bill requiring that all US troops on foreign soil be returned and that both wars are ended. That would save billions of dollars and not affect programs for the needy or seniors. As the troops retire, many of their jobs could be eliminated as we don't need all the pencil pushers in the Pentagon or combat weapons designed for the cold war. All the returnees could then guard the Mexican border untiul their enlistment ended. And all the National Guardsmen and reservists could return to their families and communities and start paying their mortgages.

Posted by: msjn1 | January 29, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

equsnarnd a new record 10 repostings.

What about posting here do people not get....

Post once then take a smoke break or whatever then return to your message after a couple of minutes.

Posted by: waxtraxs | January 29, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

It's just funny how the GOP is so big on cumbersome rules that get in the way and being responsible. Just who is this balanced budget amendment for? Are they afraid that they might not balance a budget?
And over on the house side there's people who want to index spending and limit taxes to certain things and to certain amounts of adjustment or not allow any adjustment.... it's endless.
Well, it certainly looks to me that since people in the GOP don't have any curiosity to know what the facts of our economic and fiscal circumstances are. Or at least when there's a study they have a rebuttal ready so they only have to read and adopt the one whose conclusions they already know. And, even if a law or initiative is passed by Congress, signed by the President, is not Constitutionally challenged they still want to be able to have big money special interests, lobbyists, and political consultants fan out all over 50 states to pass repeals of any law this or that special interest doesn't like.
And after all this, we're supposed to have a country left? Baloney!

Posted by: tigman_2 | January 29, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

If you thought you would never see a proposed amendment DUMBER than the 18th, here you go -- courtesy of the gop.

We have had imbalanced budgets on and off since day 1 of the Constitution. In fact one of the specific provisions of the original pre-amendment Constitution was the asumption of the debts of the states.

republicons have been pursuing this abortion of an idea because they see it as a back door way of cutting off funding to regulate Wall Street and the oil industry, a back door way to defund the EPA and allow rampant pollution, a back door way fo destroying social security and Medicare, which they have opposed since those programs came into effect.

If anyone falls for this stupidity they are dumber than a palin beck supporter.

Posted by: John1263 | January 29, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

But of course the balanced budget amendment won't apply when you extend huge tax cuts to millionaires and add billions to the debt when you repeal health care reform. (CBO figures.)

It also won't apply to the military. The budget cuts will only apply to the poor, unemployed and struggling middle class. In the long run, nations without a strong middle class are in for real trouble.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 29, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

This should be part of a bigger problem. Make sure term limits are imposed. Politicians, but lefties in general, equate raising taxes to increasing their power by passing nonsensical bills, creating problems that only the hiring of parasitic governmental do nothings can "solve"

Posted by: nomobarry | January 29, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm strongly in favor of fiscal responsibility and deficit reduction, but I have to agree with Rep. Chris Van Hollen on this one: we need a long-term plan to bring government spending down, keep it down, and pay off the debt.

I know this sounds wimpy, but take look at the budget breakdown. You could get rid of everything except the DoD, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the basic government functions (judicial system, air traffic control, food safety, etc.) and you would still be left with a large deficit. Cut the DoD budget in half and you are still in a hole. Bottom line, we have built up a huge problem that won't be solved by waving a legislative wand.

The balanced budget amendment idea is just an attempt to score cheap political points. I'd be more impressed if the proponents of this idea also offered a budget to demonstrate how they could abide by their amendment. They can't and they won't because they would have to gut the government, drastically cut the DoD, renege on promises to veterans, seniors, etc., raise taxes (or at least eliminate most tax deductions).

The deficit/debt problem took 30 years to create and it won't be solved overnight. It would be more helpful if politicians that are serious and energized about this problem focused on detailed, realistic (and painful) solutions rather than on political grandstanding, empty rhetoric, and demagoguery. Let's start with the recommendations of the fiscal commission and work from there.

Posted by: wireknob | January 29, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

As an experiment they should present a balanced budget this year and see what they have to cut to get there. By the time they have slashed the defense budget, farm subsidies, aid to the states and just about everything else they will see that higher taxes have to be part of the equation. Good luck with that guys.

Posted by: rhc52 | January 29, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Emmm... Lets see, now.

First, Reagan, Bush, and Bush run up TWELVE TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT.
Next, Unpatriotic McConnell and Boehner extend the job destroying Bush tax cuts for the rich to pump up the deficit AGAIN.
And now, they want a balanced budget amendment?

The answer is simpler:
Face up to the fact that Voodoo Economics has been a disaster for the the American people.
Quit pumping the national dept up.
Quit crowding out private capital formation with public borrowing for tax cuts for the rich on borrowed money.

Then you will see jobs being created again.

Posted by: themoderate | January 29, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

To agree with another poster, Senator Mike Lee is using the filibuster as extortion. I assume the Republicans will break their own record for the number of times they employ the filibuster. Well, Harry Reid didn't want to change the rules, and this is the thanks he gets. I hope Democrats have long memories, really long memories, once they are the party out of power in the Senate, which seems quite likely after 2012. Paybacks are ****.

Posted by: rtinindiana | January 29, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans do seem hell-bent on sending us into a double-dip recession, don't they? Just where are they going to get the necessary funds to make sure the country, AT THIS TIME, doesn't spend any more than it takes in? I mean, we are already spending money on wars of choice, both winding down perhaps but yet a commitment of money that certainly has no ending point, and we just gave the Republican rich guys their tax cuts. A balanced budget amendment would be no more than an austerity amendment. Do we actually want this as an amendment to the Constitution? The first thing the Republicans would go after is Social Security for those under 55 and Medicarre for the elderly. Then the usual social programs would be targeted, while business and farming subsidies would be strengthened. This is just a smoke-screen by Republicans, because on its face it sounds like a responsible idea. Just another attempt to get the middle-class, what's left of it to vote against their own best interests. Kind of like sugar-coating rat poison.

Posted by: rtinindiana | January 29, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: drjcarlucci

The States do have Balanced Budgets.

BUT only by using Federal Funds.

Texas now Faces a $25 Billion 2 year budget shortfall and no Federal Money on the horizon.

Like the House of Representatives These Republicans have taken Tax increases for the Rich off the table.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | January 29, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Well at least the new House won't be bailing out any states who continue to overspend. One, small, good thing.

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 29, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

And the Republicans continue to try and balance the budget on the backs of the poor while continuing to furiously shovel as much cash as possible into the pockets of their buddies in the top 2% of corporate America. What a pathetic gang of immoral, terminally greedy, ethically bankrupt weasels - and that's as nicely as I can say THAT.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | January 29, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

And the Republicans continue to try and balance the budget on the backs of the poor while continuing to furiously shovel as much cash as possible into the pockets of their buddies in the top 2% of corporate America. What a pathetic gang of immoral, terminally greedy, ethically bankrupt weasels - and that's as nicely as I can say THAT.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | January 29, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

LMAO...typical fodder from the good for nothing republicans for their intelectually challenged tea bag lemmings. Balance budget amendment, no tax increases. Such brilliance.

Posted by: dem4life1 | January 29, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have this right! Republicans are pushing for a balanced budget ammendment. Yet history shows that thru tax cuts and overspending, over 80% of the national debt was run up under JUST the last 3 GOP presidents as of the end of Bush's last budget.

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

Not only that, but it was all deliberate. Early in the Reagan administration, Republicans adopted a strategy of "starve the beast", whose goal was to run up the debt so high that it would cause a budget crisis! Then they could present privatizing SS, Medicare and the other entitlments as the only solution.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10054/1037783-109.stm

http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/06/tax-cuts-republicans-starve-the-beast-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

Well, now we have a HUGE debt, we have a budget crisis, and now we see the Republican House debating privatizing SS and Medicare!

Is it me, or did the Republicans endanger the country security and financial future for the sole purpose of putting the trillions spent on these programs into the hand of the bankers and Wall St. that just collapsed the US economy???

I close with the admonition that the WP, with it's long history of great investigative reporting, hasnt reported this 30 year old plan to the people of the US!! WHY NOT???

Posted by: TominNH | January 29, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have this right! Republicans are pushing for a balanced budget ammendment. Yet history shows that thru tax cuts and overspending, over 80% of the national debt was run up under JUST the last 3 GOP presidents as of the end of Bush's last budget.

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

Not only that, but it was all deliberate. Early in the Reagan administration, Republicans adopted a strategy of "starve the beast", whose goal was to run up the debt so high that it would cause a budget crisis! Then they could present privatizing SS, Medicare and the other entitlments as the only solution.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10054/1037783-109.stm

http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/06/tax-cuts-republicans-starve-the-beast-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

Well, now we have a HUGE debt, we have a budget crisis, and now we see the Republican House debating privatizing SS and Medicare!

Is it me, or did the Republicans endanger the country security and financial future for the sole purpose of putting the trillions spent on these programs into the hand of the bankers and Wall St. that just collapsed the US economy???

I close with the admonition that the WP, with it's long history of great investigative reporting, hasnt reported this 30 year old plan to the people of the US!! WHY NOT???

Posted by: TominNH | January 29, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have this right! Republicans are pushing for a balanced budget ammendment. Yet history shows that thru tax cuts and overspending, over 80% of the national debt was run up under JUST the last 3 GOP presidents as of the end of Bush's last budget.

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

Not only that, but it was all deliberate. Early in the Reagan administration, Republicans adopted a strategy of "starve the beast", whose goal was to run up the debt so high that it would cause a budget crisis! Then they could present privatizing SS, Medicare and the other entitlments as the only solution.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10054/1037783-109.stm

http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/06/tax-cuts-republicans-starve-the-beast-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

Well, now we have a HUGE debt, we have a budget crisis, and now we see the Republican House debating privatizing SS and Medicare!

Is it me, or did the Republicans endanger the country security and financial future for the sole purpose of putting the trillions spent on these programs into the hand of the bankers and Wall St. that just collapsed the US economy???

I close with the admonition that the WP, with it's long history of great investigative reporting, hasnt reported this 30 year old plan to the people of the US!! WHY NOT???

Posted by: TominNH | January 29, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have this right! Republicans are pushing for a balanced budget ammendment. Yet history shows that thru tax cuts and overspending, over 80% of the national debt was run up under JUST the last 3 GOP presidents as of the end of Bush's last budget.

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

Not only that, but it was all deliberate. Early in the Reagan administration, Republicans adopted a strategy of "starve the beast", whose goal was to run up the debt so high that it would cause a budget crisis! Then they could present privatizing SS, Medicare and the other entitlments as the only solution.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10054/1037783-109.stm

http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/06/tax-cuts-republicans-starve-the-beast-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

Well, now we have a HUGE debt, we have a budget crisis, and now we see the Republican House debating privatizing SS and Medicare!

Is it me, or did the Republicans endanger the country security and financial future for the sole purpose of putting the trillions spent on these programs into the hand of the bankers and Wall St. that just collapsed the US economy???

I close with the admonition that the WP, with it's long history of great investigative reporting, hasnt reported this 30 year old plan to the people of the US!! WHY NOT???

Posted by: TominNH | January 29, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have this right! Republicans are pushing for a balanced budget ammendment. Yet history shows that thru tax cuts and overspending, over 80% of the national debt was run up under JUST the last 3 GOP presidents as of the end of Bush's last budget.

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

Not only that, but it was all deliberate. Early in the Reagan administration, Republicans adopted a strategy of "starve the beast", whose goal was to run up the debt so high that it would cause a budget crisis! Then they could present privatizing SS, Medicare and the other entitlments as the only solution.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10054/1037783-109.stm

http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/06/tax-cuts-republicans-starve-the-beast-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

Well, now we have a HUGE debt, we have a budget crisis, and now we see the Republican House debating privatizing SS and Medicare!

Is it me, or did the Republicans endanger the country security and financial future for the sole purpose of putting the trillions spent on these programs into the hand of the bankers and Wall St. that just collapsed the US economy???

I close with the admonition that the WP, with it's long history of great investigative reporting, hasnt reported this 30 year old plan to the people of the US!! WHY NOT???

Posted by: TominNH | January 29, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

The states do it.

And they don't have old people and children dying in the street.

Democrats just want to be able to spend as much as they can buying of their constituencies.

No matter if it wrecks the economy like in California and Illinois.

Spend and spend, buy votes and scream and scare grandma if Republicans point out fiscal disaster looming.

Democrats = California, Illinois, New York.

Their idiotic policies have brought disaster.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | January 29, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

We need a balanced budget ammendment, but Americans would rather debt spend.

Posted by: moebius22 | January 29, 2011 7:18 AM | Report abuse

We know we want some government, enough to defend us against idiot ideologues, to build and maintain decent highways, to provide clean water and reasonable public safety and educational opportunities, and some rules about how we are going to conduct ourselves and do stuff. We don’t agree about a lot of details, which is why we elect tools to office, to argue and vote for our points of view.

It’s clear by now that just shouting doesn’t help. Crazy talk encourages crazy people to do bad stuff, making us all less safe in our daily lives. Really clear, simple solutions are likely to be really dumb solutions.

If we want better government, we have to use our tools, er, politicians, to live with ambiguity and complexity and negotiation and compromise. If we tell them to act responsibly, they will. If they think that acting the way they do now will get them re-elected, we will get more of the same. Had enough yet?

Posted by: frodot | January 29, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Balancing the budget is easy. All we have to do is decide to let poor people die in the streets. Many Republicans seem to favor this approach.

Posted by: scoogy | January 29, 2011 7:06 AM | Report abuse

I seem to recall the GOP not being so worried about the deficit when they passed Bush's tax cuts. Believe it or not, reducing your incoming revenue increases your debt. Will they cut any military spending? Social Security? Discretionary spending is a small percentage of the total budget. It's all for show.

Posted by: Sutter | January 29, 2011 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Do we have a list of the criminals that voted down the last Amendment attempt?

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 29, 2011 5:55 AM | Report abuse

A blanched budget sounds great .......... BUT how do they expect to balance the budget with the extremely large deficit that took years to create.

The deficit can be lowered by creating an environment where jobs can be created in this country. What we now see is just smoke & mirrors .

First the U.S. Congress must rescind the tax & tariff reductions plus "breaks," they voted large companies that are taking American jobs over seas. Also, just mirror the tariffs & taxes that countries like China, Japan, South Korea and the European Countries are putting on American exports.

Second, "our" Congress must reenact The Glass-Steagall Act, in order to bring some order into our financial institutions and markets. It will also spin off more American jobs. This act help keep the Wall Street firms in check. But was repealed under President Clinton's watch.

THESE MEASURES WILL REDUCE THE DEFICIT ....... and create jobs for American citizens.

We keep on sending our money overseas and are looking for the middle class to shoulder the burden.
Unfortunately, if this keeps up, there will be almost NO middle class to put that burden on.

Majority of the deficit is caused by too many imports!! Not just oil either.
A jobless recover will not help cut the deficit either.

PLEASE HOW ABOUT SOME SANITY ....... no more dog & pony shows.
Not all American voters are that dumb.

Posted by: bkarpus | January 29, 2011 5:50 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

A Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good but what if they overspend? Does that mean they have a Constitutional mandate to raise taxes?
I'd rather see an amendment limiting spending to a % of GDP (might give them some incentive to grow the economy by getting government out of the way) or a ban on borrowing.

Posted by: equsnarnd | January 29, 2011 1:15 AM | Report abuse

The last time a balanced budget amendment was introduced was in 1997. Without it, we had four years of surpluses (1998-2001). Then, from 2002-08 we had huge deficits and not a single Republican proposed a balanced budget amendment. What was so different then? Hmmm....maybe the answer is in the party that was sitting in the White House, perhaps?

Posted by: mkarns | January 29, 2011 12:46 AM | Report abuse

So to balance the budget, these GOP senators want to repeal the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans? They want to cut defense spending? Close loopholes that benefit corporations?

These are the same jokers who think climate change and evolution are debatable.

Posted by: paul6554 | January 28, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Senators: It's the jobs, stupid!

Posted by: BBear1 | January 28, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Cheney told us, "Deficits don't matter." What's the fuss?

Posted by: frodot | January 28, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean they are going to get rid of that huge new tax cut?

Posted by: scientist1 | January 28, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

A balanced budget is neither conservative or liberal. Tying to use a balanced budget argument to include absurd tax policy requirements or government size restrictions is pure right wing insanity and should be rejected.

Posted by: chucko2 | January 28, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess there are no more Panama Canal's to build... for sure
we should pass a law to make sure that should one arise we would
be bound by law not to even dream.

Posted by: WmLaney | January 28, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The concept of a "balanced budget" amendment for the federal government is political demagoguery at best, and reckless at worst. It's just part of the radical right's effort to eradicate all federal programs that do not directly benefit the wealthy in this country.

For Senator Mike Lee to threaten to filibuster raising the debt ceiling unless he gets his way on this reckless amendment is simply outrageous. He really has no sense of decency. But he sure loves extortion as a way of operating -- and threatening to destroy the nation's economy if prevents passage of raising the debt ceiling.

No nation of our stature can survive with the strictures the Republicans want to place on the federal budget. This is just one more example of how the Republicans are turning the U.S. into a second rate power. First they give the private sector free rein to wipe out jobs and wipe out the economy. Now they want to cripple the nation's ability to recover from the economic mess the Republicans got us into. They've destroyed the educational system; they destroyed the housing market; they've destroyed our economy by encouraging businesses to ship so many jobs overseas and wipe out the manufacturing sector -- all in the name of profits.

We cannot afford to allow the radical right Republicans to do any more damage to the nation with their balanced budget amendment.

So much for seeking compromise on anything. They'll just risk the nation's security and health if they don't get their way. The friendly fascism they've practiced for decades is starting to turn very unfriendly.

Posted by: dl49 | January 28, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama can ride the extremist Republicans desire to gut Medicare to victory in 2012.


"Coupons For Senior Citizens" is not going to cut it with the American people.


.


Posted by: DrainYou | January 28, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"I don't support a constitutional balanced budget amendment that claims balance by raiding the Social Security trust fund,"

What trust fund? You mean that pile of treasury bonds? The ones that will have to be repayed out of the general budget somehow? Only the government borrows from itself... with interest.

Posted by: BradG | January 28, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company