View Poll Results: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

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Thread: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

  1. #21
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    Re: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    In my personal opinion, a balanced budget is a bad idea for two basic reasons:

    Politicians will hide expenditures in off balance sheet financing making an accurate understanding of where the government's financial picture really is. Making our government even more corrupt and less beholden to the people.

    But secondly, my biggest concern is that it would be a death of a thousand cuts. During a recession as tax revenue dries up, the government would be forced to cut spending. Assuming no change to automatic stabilizers, spending would actually increase forcing even greater cuts. We'd deepen the recession by being forced to either raise taxes or dramatically cut spending. As economic activity declines due to aggregate demand falling, even less revenue would come in causing even more cuts. In theory, there's a real possibility that a balanced budget requirement would result in default as there would be no spending left except for debt servicing and any reduction in revenue from that point would result in insolvency. Basically, the balanced budget requirement would be death by a thousand cuts. To alleviate this, emergency spending would bypass the requirement but that begs the question of why even bother with the requirement in the first place if emergency spending simply bypasses it entirely?
    I say a good idea as long as there are the conditions added-

    1.There must be a spending cap based on the previous year's collections.

    2.There must be a tax cap so that those in office can not inflate what is collected in order to inflate spending.

    3.It must be balanced with no new tax increases or future predicted tax increases,all possible cuts must be made.This is to ensure that no one can screw us or or screw our children or descendants with debt and higher taxes and that cuts are actually made.

    4.There must be an exception for severe natural disasters or if another nation attacks us or declares war on us and to help alleviate the potential tax burden a natural disaster may have a rainy day fund shall be set up. That rainy day has the following stipulations-
    A.It will be illegal to use that rainy day fund for anything else other than war or severe natural disaster.
    B.It will be illegal to propose that money in that rainy day fund be used for something else.

    c.It will be illegal to propose that funding for that rainy day fund be diverted to something else unless that rainy day fund is filled up to fund at least half another Afghanistan or Iraq war and half a natural disaster .
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  2. #22
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    Re: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    Oh, absolutely. I don't think there's any contention that the vast majority of current government functions can't, or shouldn't be, privatized. However, there are still several that should. In fact, one has been a hot-button for many years. Social Security is a prime example of something that needs privatization. As an accountant, I'd have myself a little wet dream if the IRS was mostly obliterated and large accounting firms (Big 4) handled the bulk of the legwork. I think a lot of regulatory commission could be dissolved if we really wanted to trim fat and work toward a balanced budget.
    ah okay thanks for the clarification.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

  3. #23
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    Re: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

    Wars have everything to do with the National Debt, did you know that?

  4. #24
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    Re: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

    Even the balanced budget amendment recently proposed didn't just say "Income will equal expense. - The end".

    Have an emergency? The budget included emergency funds. Need more than that? We can give you more, we just need to make cuts in another area of the budget.

    You want a large capital project that requires debt? Okee dokee, just figure enough in the budget to amortize the debt (not just carry it, figure payments to pay it off). It's bad policy to treat the Federal Budget like a sub-prime no doc no interest loan (oh, wait, it was federal policy that did allow that kind of borrowing and re-finance policy to send us into a tail spin).

    You want flexibility? Great - as our economy (earnings) grow, you'll have more money to spend. Prioritize.

    Is there an area of expense that's growing too fast to keep up with? Sounds like a sign of bad policy. Make the tough decision. Do the work you were sent to Washington to do. Change the policy to fit the money that's available.

    What happens if you just borrow money at will? Eventually, you won't be able to borrow more money. That will balance the budget for you. What we're getting ready to essentially do is paint ourselves into an involuntarily balanced budget. Can't borrow more money? Budget balanced the hard way.
    The US is an odd ship. The captain yells out when he sees obtacles , but 535 individual propellers do the steering.

  5. #25
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    Re: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by SlackMaster View Post
    You always here the general public talk about holding Washington accountable, but nothing is ever done. At my work, by job is dependent on my performance. If I don't produce results, I don't get to keep my job. Why isn't government run like this?

    I like what Warren Buffet said...



    I agree. There should be a set of standards that all branches of government have to meet and if they're not meeting those standards, they're fired. Let's REALLY hold these assholes accountable.

    The only problem with this idea is if congress suddenly found themselves with a budget shortfall they would simply ratchet up taxes to meed expenditures insuring their eligibility for reelection. We have to have some sort of checks and balance or each cycle congress will increase spending and then increase taxes to the point we drive our highest income tax bracket out of the country leaving less and less wealth in the country to tax. At that point the system will have failed because we cannot tax the middle/lower class enough to cover expenditures.

  6. #26
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    Re: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

    the states seem to have survived. and anything that would prove a restraint on the growth of government (say, a BBA that holds government expenditures to 17% of GDP except in cases of emergencies, requiring a supermajority of the congress) would be helpful. good idea.

  7. #27
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    Re: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baralis View Post
    The only problem with this idea is if congress suddenly found themselves with a budget shortfall they would simply ratchet up taxes to meed expenditures insuring their eligibility for reelection.
    easily fixed - hold spending to a particular percentage and mandate across-the-board cuts of the necessary percentage in all cases not receiving a supermajority vote.

  8. #28
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    Re: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

    They will pass amendments to amendments to allow either side when in power to over fund their own pet projects or unbalance the budget when they choose...
    To follow your logic, you could write an admendment that could not be amended. The people in power probably wouldn't do this, but everything that we think is ideal is possible.

    I agree with the Warren Buffet quote. These men and women are probably the most incompetent leaders we could have. They really should be made accountable.

  9. #29
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    Re: Balanced Budget Amendment - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

    I said "Bad Idea". With exceptions suppose I could see it working. For one, I can't see a one year cycle working. To me a budget period needs to to include the top of a peak and the bottom of recession. Put another way, the exceptions need to be more than just war and natural disaster, but also include the natural upswings and downswings in the economy. Capitalism is violent and there's no reason that a federal government can't trim the peaks to fill the valleys and add some stability. That said, you'd need a mechanism counter or unwind the exceptions in time of growth. Unfortunately these are all complex problems that I'm not sure fall under a balanced budget concept which is why I can't see a it flying in a general sense.

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