Why We Need A Balanced Budget Amendment
Why We Need A Balanced Budget Amendment: In principle, Republicans tend to favor cutting the size of government while Democrats favor more government spending. However in practice, both Republicans and Democrats favor spending our hard earned tax money like water.
So why do our politicians continue to recklessly spend our money? Because we the American people demand that they do so. Although the American people want a balanced budget, they also want more government services as well. That leads to a conundrum for American politicians who only stay in office if they please the people. If the politicians spend more money they make people happy — but they also make them unhappy by increasing the debt — but they have to make the people happy to stay in office — but increasing the debt is bad for the country which will eventually lead to the people being unhappy, etc, etc.
All of this may seem quite confusing, but since spending more money makes whoever is getting the pork in question happy and since it’s hard to place specific blame for the deficit, politicians tend to favor spending more money over lowering the deficit. Furthermore, it’s very difficult to cut spending on anything because of course, you’re taking someone’s pork away, someone who may get angry enough to do something about it when election time comes around.
The seeming fiscal restraint of the government that we saw during the Clinton years was largely an illusion. It was the result of a thriving economy, defense cuts that were far too deep, and the Republicans in Congress suddenly getting serious about holding down spending since there was a Democrat in the White House. Since none of those conditions exist today, we’ve seen government spending go up drastically and that’s not likely to change in the next few years although when the economy comes back, tax revenue increases will help shrink the deficit significantly.
I, like many people, am of the opinion that it’s very important for the United States government to live within its means. The government cannot continue to spend money hand over fist that it does not have, especially since the Social Security program is projected to start running deficits in roughly a decade. That’s why we need a balanced budget amendment.
If we want to raise government spending and the money’s there — I’d say we should probably get a tax cut instead — but if we choose to spend it, fine. However, if we want to raise spending when the money isn’t there, then we need to slash spending somewhere else. If we had been doing that all along, we wouldn’t have a six and a half trillion dollar debt, but we would have a real “Social Security Trust Fund” instead of a bunch of IOUs most taxpayers are unaware that they’re going to have to pay off. If we really, truly want a balanced budget year after year, we’re going to have to mandate it by law to make it happen. Remember, all this money we’re spending is going to come due one day and the American taxpayers of the future are going to pay the bill for all of the money we have wasted. That’s an unfair burden that we’re passing on to future generations and we need to do something about it while the debt is still at a fairly manageable size.