Balanced Budget Amendment Must Include Protections for Taxpayers


Posted by Mattie Duppler on Friday, July 22nd, 2011, 3:09 PM PERMALINK


The debt limit debate has only produced one serious proposal to rectify the government's spending problem: the Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011. This bill, which passed the House and received unanimous Republican support in the Senate was rejected by Senate Democrats who would prefer to bankrupt the country than reform spending.

The Cut, Cap and Balance Act would implement spending cuts next year, establish statutory spending caps and require the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the Constitution before any new borrowing authority can be exercised.

The Cut, Cap and Balance Act is important in that it articulates the BBA MUST INCLUDE a requirement that any tax hike achieve a super-majority to pass in either chamber. This ensures spending cuts, rather than tax hikes, are used to balance the budget. ATR sent an alert today to Members of Congress, warning lawmakers we would rate a vote against any BBA that does not include this necessary protection for taxpayers. From our alert:

Washington has an overspending problem, not an under-taxing problem. Historically, outlays have averaged about 21 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while revenues have amounted to about 18 percent of GDP. Due to the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats’ spending binge, outlays now average almost 25 percent of GDP, and are projected to stay around 23 percent in perpetuity.

Unless tax hikes are taken off the table, reckless lawmakers will increase taxes to pay for these new bloated spending levels, rather than bring spending in line with revenues. Any lawmaker serious about restoring American solvency cannot seriously vote for a BBA that does not include a super-majority requirement for tax increases. To pass a BBA that allows a tax hike by simple majority is to distract from the real problem of government spending, and leave taxpayers to bear the burden of foolhardy federal budgeting.

Click here to read the complete alert.

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