View Poll Results: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment

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  • Yes

    8 32.00%
  • No

    13 52.00%
  • Other

    3 12.00%
  • Don't Know

    1 4.00%
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Thread: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

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    Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    Do you support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution? Although support has been found for it among the American people, like in this poll, it would of course be difficult to add any amendment to the Constitution. Especially because even among people who support the measure there is much disagreement.

    For example there is this version introduced by Justin Amash which uses an average of non-borrowing revenue from the previous three years and can only be suspended if an emergency is declared by 2/3s of each house.

    There's also this version introduced by Mark Udall that uses projected figures for the next year, does not apply during a time of declared war and can be exceeded by a 3/5s vote in each House. It also makes it illegal to reduce taxes on those making more than $1 million a year if that would make outlays exceed receipts for any year.

    So, do you support any variation of this type of amendment or do you believe that adding a balanced budget amendment would be unnecessary and economically damaging.
    There should be Instant Runoff Voting

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    Re: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    I voted other because while balancing the budget is important, sometimes the situation isn't entirely clear cut. For example, if we were to borrow to invest in our infrastructure (which we desperately need to overhaul) that would actually be a good thing as while it would cost us in the short-run, it would help our long-term economic growth.
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    Re: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    No. There's a wide array of circumstances in which small or even sizable deficits are viable and in some cases, optimal. Mandating that the budget be balanced, regardless of economic, military or social circumstances, would quite frankly be irresponsible.

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    Re: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    Although someone like Philip Wallach from the Brookings Institution pointed out that Congress monitoring itself in these matters hasn't worked for a number of reasons (The Perils of Automatic Budgeting > Publications > National Affairs), I do not believe in the desirability or practical use of a Constitutional amendment.
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    Re: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    Do you support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution? Although support has been found for it among the American people, like in this poll, it would of course be difficult to add any amendment to the Constitution. Especially because even among people who support the measure there is much disagreement.

    For example there is this version introduced by Justin Amash which uses an average of non-borrowing revenue from the previous three years and can only be suspended if an emergency is declared by 2/3s of each house.

    There's also this version introduced by Mark Udall that uses projected figures for the next year, does not apply during a time of declared war and can be exceeded by a 3/5s vote in each House. It also makes it illegal to reduce taxes on those making more than $1 million a year if that would make outlays exceed receipts for any year.

    So, do you support any variation of this type of amendment or do you believe that adding a balanced budget amendment would be unnecessary and economically damaging.
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    Re: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    I voted no for a variety of reasons.


    1. I oppose any new amendments to the constitution. Amending the constitution for transient or minor issues or for things that can be done other ways strikes me as wrong.
    2. If it is important enough to have a balanced budget that you would amend the constitution for it, then it is important enough to do it without amending the constitution.
    3. It strongly reduces the options for responding to major events, such as for example recession/depression.
    4. If it is anything but absolute, congress and the white house will take advantage of the exceptions.


    Edit: and this thread is going nowhere near how I expected it would.
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    Re: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    hm thanks guys, I am surprised, from a Canadian perspective most of us value that highly...it's interesting to see people coming from the opposite perspective and the reasons for that

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    Re: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    Do you support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution? Although support has been found for it among the American people, like in this poll, it would of course be difficult to add any amendment to the Constitution. Especially because even among people who support the measure there is much disagreement.

    For example there is this version introduced by Justin Amash which uses an average of non-borrowing revenue from the previous three years and can only be suspended if an emergency is declared by 2/3s of each house.

    There's also this version introduced by Mark Udall that uses projected figures for the next year, does not apply during a time of declared war and can be exceeded by a 3/5s vote in each House. It also makes it illegal to reduce taxes on those making more than $1 million a year if that would make outlays exceed receipts for any year.

    So, do you support any variation of this type of amendment or do you believe that adding a balanced budget amendment would be unnecessary and economically damaging.
    Why even bother having such a bill if there are exceptions?

    Furthermore, the economic concept is stupid when you understand how a dollar of government spending ripples through the economy. A balanced budget amendment would require the government in times of reduced tax revenues to reduce spending, which in turn represents a reduction in aggregate demand. Obviously reducing demand reduces activity and thus corresponding tax revenues. Which then requires even more cuts. Think of it like this way, imagine if everyone cut 10% of their discretionary spending and saved it. That's 10% less demand. How many people would lose their jobs from lack of spending? And thus their spending reduces other peoples' income causing more drops in discretionary spending until we're in theory into a vicious circle where we default because tax revenues decline below interest payments.

    We actually see this with some states who don't have rainy day funds. Their economies shrink and shrink and shrink until the larger national or global economy pulls them out. Left to their own devices, they're on the path to default because the pie gets smaller and smaller as few dollars change hands.
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    Re: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Edit: and this thread is going nowhere near how I expected it would.
    Most likely because certain people haven't seen it.
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    Re: Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    Do you support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution? Although support has been found for it among the American people, like in this poll, it would of course be difficult to add any amendment to the Constitution. Especially because even among people who support the measure there is much disagreement.

    For example there is this version introduced by Justin Amash which uses an average of non-borrowing revenue from the previous three years and can only be suspended if an emergency is declared by 2/3s of each house.

    There's also this version introduced by Mark Udall that uses projected figures for the next year, does not apply during a time of declared war and can be exceeded by a 3/5s vote in each House. It also makes it illegal to reduce taxes on those making more than $1 million a year if that would make outlays exceed receipts for any year.

    So, do you support any variation of this type of amendment or do you believe that adding a balanced budget amendment would be unnecessary and economically damaging.
    I said "Don't know" because I honestly don't know.

    I know we need a balanced budget. I'm not thrilled with the idea of a Constitutional amendment. And I think there are too many unknowns that could happen. This country is far too big to run on a shoestring, which could be the end result of this kind of act.

    I really don't know.

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