by John Hawkins | December 9, 2003 8:53 pm
Someone bring George Bush over the monitor and email Karl Rove, because I’m about to say three words, yes, just three words that will make George Bush almost unbeatable in 2004. Those three words are….”Balanced Budget Amendment”.
Now I know some of you may be saying to yourself, “What will proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment do for George Bush?”
I’m glad I pretended that you asked that question, because I have the answer for you. A few caveats first…let’s assume that the front runner, Howard Dean wins the Democratic nomination. Also, let’s say that Bush sets things up so we have a few years to get back to even, let’s say 4-5 years with legislatively mandated goals we have to hit each year. That’s because realistically, it would be too difficult to go from the huge deficit we have now back to even/steven in a year. But if Bush proposed a Balanced Budget Amendment he would…
1) …take an issue away from the Democrats who will undoubtedly blame him for the deficits we’ve been running.
2) …expose Howard Dean and the rest of the Democrats as phony deficit hawks & “tax and spend liberals” when they oppose the Amendment and yet still want to raise taxes.
3) …turn one of his biggest weaknesses, the handling of the deficit, into a strength not only with the American people, but with his Conservative base.
4) …give the base another “major” reason to turn out for him the 2004 elections.
5) …capture a much larger portion of the small but significant (in certain states at least) Libertarian vote.
6) …most importantly, be pushing an Amendment that would really be good for the long-term fiscal health of our country.
The Balanced Budget Amendment; not only is it good politics, it’s good for America.
*** Update #1***: Steve_in_Corona asks, “John, how would such a plan deal with existing debt?? A balanced budget would stop future deficits and increases to the debt load, but what would be done with existing debt?”
Our national debt is around 6.9 trillion dollars right now, which is of course a massive sum. But if we could ever get spending under control and started applying most of the surplus to the debt, I think we could grow enough to pay off the debt in say 10-15 years or so assuming that we took some steps (raising age, cutting benefits, or privatizing part of the program) to keep Social Security from going into the red in roughly a decade or so. It is doable, but only provided we stop spending money like water.
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