05.02.2011 0

A Voluntarily Balanced Budget

By Adam Bitely – Efforts are underway in the U.S. Senate to introduce a balanced budget amendment. If adopted, the federal budget would be constitutionally required to be balanced, and the politicians in D.C. would have no choice but to make sure that they pay for all of the nation’s yearly fiscal obligations in the year that they make the expenditures.

The amendment would also limit spending to 18 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, preventing Congress from simply raising taxes to balance the budget.

While this seems like a move in the direction towards fiscal responsibility, why are the politicians that support such an amendment waiting to be forced to balance the budget?

This is not to say that they should stop their efforts on passing a balanced budget amendment, but they should also start acting as if it is the law already. So how about they voluntarily, without the coercion of a Constitutional amendment, introduce a balanced budget for 2012?

After all, they want support such action to be constitutionally mandated, why not start getting the nation’s fiscal house in order now instead of years from now when the amendment is adopted — if it ever even is!

Proposed budgets that have been introduced for 2012 so far are lackluster. The best budget to date that was brought forth by the Republican Study Committee, but was killed in a bi-partisan effort on the House floor. The RSC plan would have balanced the budget within 10 years.

The budget that Obama proposed, and similarly, the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan are such poor attempts at getting the deficit under control that it is amazing that folks are seriously attempting to criticize one plan while supporting another. The budget plan from Rep. Ryan does take serious stabs at starting to implement budgetary reforms, but does not go nearly far enough to honestly begin putting the nation’s fiscal house in order. The Obama budget is more of the same, with tax increases and no realistic plan to fix the out-of-control deficits.

But Senate and House Republicans have a chance to start doing something now that would go much further than anyone has suggested thus far. And taking the action of balancing the budget would be the responsible step to take.

If Washington politicians want to have some action to back up their rhetoric about being fiscally responsible and good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollar, introducing a balanced budget for 2012 would be a good start. Simply proposing a balanced budget for 2012 would start the budgetary debate off on the right foot, and achieve a budget that puts America much closer to the right track than the one the nation is currently on.

Proposing a balanced budget in 2012 is a good first step in bringing about lasting change to the budgetary process. If Senate and House Republicans want to get the nation’s fiscal house in order, they can start in 2012, and not even bother to sit on their haunches waiting for a day when the voters force them to balance the budget.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow Adam on Twitter at @AdamBitely.

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