The New Democrat Online

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Leader Pelosi on GOP's BBA: The Plus's and Minus's of a BBA

Anyone who believes that taxes are necessary in any country to fund government, understands that governments can't borrow indefinitely. And at some point bills have to paid, not borrow money to pay other bills. But actually pay up your bills, otherwise taxes wouldn't be necessary and we could just borrow indefinitely to pay for anything. And I don't know anyone who believes that, the question is how do we pay our bills and to what point does our credit run out. If the United States were to pass a Balance Budget Amendment to the US Constitution tomorrow, not just Congress but at least thirty four States. Two days from now we would still have a Federal Debt of 15T$ and a Federal Deficit approaching 2T$. A year from now we would still have a debt and deficit approaching those numbers. Because Congress wouldn't agree to cut 2T$ from the Federal Budget for one year. They may agree to cut 200B maybe 500B, pass Tax Reform that raises new revenue to cut the deficit in one year. And do that over five years or so but a year from now we would still have a deficit of over 1T$. And maybe even five years from now we would still have a deficit. So passing a BBA alone does not Balance the Federal Budget, it just requires the Federal Government to do that. But doesn't lay out how to do that, just tells them they have to do it. But leaves it up to the Administration and Congress who lately can't agree on the Time of Day. Or the weather outside on how to Balance the Federal Budget so any BBA would at best be a first step in Balancing the Federal Budget.

The better question is how to Balance the Federal Budget, because a BBA means nothing without a policy to Balance the Budget. Instead of spending at least the next ten years trying to pass a Constitutional Amendment. Trying to find 290 Representatives and 67 Senators or more to pass a BBA in a Divided Congress. And then waiting for thirty four States to get around to voting on the BBA and passing the BBA. How about we just pass a policy by statue meaning law to do this and Balance the Federal Budget within five years. Finding 400B$ a year in Budget Cuts, Budget Reforms and yes new revenue through Tax Reform. Making the Federal Government leaner and efficient by closing Foreign Bases oversees in Developed Nations. Getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq, Block Granting the Safety Net over to the State instead of trying to run the whole thing from Washington. And then turning them into Semi Private Non Profit Independent Self Financed Community Services. With each State having its own Social Insurance System that would have to meet basic Federal Standards. Put in new Federal Budget Rules, that would limit how much the Federal Government could grow and how. Tying it to Economic, Population and Inflation Growth. All these things can be done through statue and could be done within a year.

My main issue with a Balance Budget Amendment is the amount of time that would be spent or even wasted. Trying to pass it and in the meantime while we are waiting for something that may or may not pass. We can Balance the Budget through statue alone, I would be for a BBA if it could be passed quickly and the exceptions in it were limited. The Federal Government could only borrow when the we are in a recession or depression or one of our fifty States or one of our territory's are under attack. Thats it because I would even reform our Disaster Relief, by turning that over to the States as well. This can all be done by statue a BBA is not needed.