Skip to comments.Tea Party coalition forming to push for balanced budget amendment
Posted on 08/19/2010 12:04:45 AM PDT by Brugmansian
The coalition, named BBA Now, as in Balance Budget Amendment Now, plans to officially unveil its three-year plan in September, director of coalitions Kellen Giuda said in an interview. Part of the campaign includes petitioning 2010 congressional candidates, as well as presidential candidates in 2012, to sign a pledge in support of the effort . . .
The amendment envisioned by the coalition includes three pillars: ending the annual deficit by requiring a balanced budget, limiting federal spending to no more than 20 percent of the countrys GDP and requiring a two-thirds supermajority vote in Congress to raise taxes . . .
(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...
20% of GDP, how about 5%! Even The Lord has only ever required 10%. (Consecration had to be willingly accepted).
20% of GDP is ridiculously high given historically we never really been able to get more then 19% of the GDP in actual tax revenue regardless of actual tax rates for any sustained peroid of time.
It needs to be something realistic, that being said ill take what ever I can get in this department so that the Federal Government doesn’t try to spend 50%.
Also the only exception can be a declared war.
But the thing I really want is an amendment that puts a maximum expiration date of say ~20 years on every act of congress.
Congress should at least be busy debating on whether or not to renew existing laws not pass new ones.
The most effective method to balancing the budget is by ensuring Congress eliminates those federal programs and agencies that are not associated with any of the enumerated powers listed in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. There will not be any chance of balancing the budget until we return to the Constitution with the limited form of government our founding fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution.
I agree. I was merely using a dramatic example. The thing is, if our FedGov was limited to their constitutional powers (meaning WE held them to its standard), it would be tiny, and rather miniscule in nature. It would not be this over-arching, overreaching mass of bureaucracy of overlords we have today.
I think all measures should expire in 5 years, or 10 years. I think twenty is far, far too long. I think that laws should also be small, and only pertain to one thing, and should be read aloud on the floor, in English, and during normal working hours. Not even war would be excluded, that is why the President may move a small number of our troops without a declaration of war. And the wars cannot be budgeted over (is it 2?) years, at a time, our Founders realized the need to go back to the drawing board constantly, with only a few rules in place to keep that process in check.
No law should remain in effect indefinitely, and there should not be so many laws that we cannot know them. There are some tens of thousands, IIRC, of Federal Criminal codes, and I just heard about a book, entitled “3 Felonies a Day,” which postures that the average American on any given day, commits at least 3 felonies. There are so many laws, NO ONE knows what they all are, let alone being able to live by them. And they are all kept, and implemented/enforced my discretion to make political prisoners.
Of the “Tea Party” really wanted to impress me, they’d also see to it that our original number of U.S. Representatives is back to the number of the population in their states, not this shuffling of seats. The 435 cap was meant to consolidate power in the hands of the few. There is NO reason not to go back to U.S. Constitutional guidelines. And they can repeal the 17th Amendment while they’re at it. We are not being represented, and we are not being listened to. And no Rep could listed to the voices of the nearly 1 MILLION people they represent anyway.
I agree with you in principle, but while we’re restoring things, I think we need to restore to the original guidelines, and all at once. I’ve found in life that while cold turkey is the hardest, it’s also the best. The Founders had the chance at a nearly accross the board reset. It’ll come to that, no matter what, because NO ONE ever gives up power and prestige when that is the very reason they do something. THose who are reluctant leaders can step down, those politicians who think they own a seat (See, the Late Ted Kennedy, and those pushing for his wife to run), will never step down willingly, and an ignorant populace enables them.
Info on the Thirty Thousand movement. (U.S. Representative Restoration)
“The most effective method to balancing the budget is by ensuring Congress eliminates those federal programs and agencies that are not associated with any of the enumerated powers listed in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. There will not be any chance of balancing the budget until we return to the Constitution with the limited form of government our founding fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution.”
Amen. There will never be a shearing down of a Government that lasts more than a single term or two, it (Government) is a beast that consumes and grows until trimmed back and pruned to the proper level.
And there should be no taxation beyond levies and duties on products, as you well know, and are a champion of campaigning for. But I think even the FairTax is far, far too generous a contribution, but it’s the best I know of...That’s why I’m on your list. :)
I couldn’t agree more which makes this whole amendment talk kind of Academic, after all if they don’t follow the existing Constitution what makes us think they will follow any new amendment to the Constitution?
Clearly we need some way of compelling that compliance, a way that is not depended upon people THEY THEMSELVES APPOINT like Federal judges.
Well, this is a loser of an idea.
Just what the rats need - - “Hey, don’t blame us for raising taxes through the roof again - - the Constitution says we have to!”
How does that work? A 2/3rd majority is a huge hurdle. It rats ever get to that again (they did under LBJ and FDR) nothing will matter anyways.
I agree add to the wish-list:
* Maximum expiration date of 5-20 years(i think a generation is fair).
* Each act of congress limited to say a few pages long.(One issue spesfic is too arbitrary and thus difficult to enforce honestly.)
* Each and every Act of Congress must be read Aloud in full on the house and Senate floor before a vote.(I would even go so far as to say any and every congressman who has not read a bill shall be assumed to have voted against it. So at least 50%+1 of Congress shall have read and agreed with the bill.)
In article 1 section 8 it specifies that the Congress can not fund the army(and by extension the Air-force) for a duration of longer then 2 years at a time. It says nothing about the duration of war, or the Navy for that matter. I think the Founders saw the navy as a non-threat to freedoms on land, and “State of War” issue to be mute without an Army to enforce the Presidents/dictators will upon the people and their States.
I would stick to that but if we must modify it in recognized of the increased capability of the U.S. Navy we might think about just including the serous land effecting parts of the navy as part of the army. Or Defining army as any military force which is capable of occupying and controlling the territory of American States.(That might help us with excessive Federal “law enforcement” forces too...)
On the representation issue there is an amendment still going around the States which was one of the 12 amendment original “bill of rights”, 10 of which became the “bill of rights” 1 was finally ratify in 1994 becoming the 27th, and the remaining one that is still floating among the States Might do the trick if we just got enough states to ratify it.
Once again Taking control of our State governments is the signal most important thing we can possibly do. We need them for so many things far more important then what congress can or will do for us.
Ratifying that last member of the bill of rights might be one of them things we could do. That being said I’m not sure we would want that.. It would give big States an even bigger advantage, and it would also make the house of reps to an even more strongly party line based body, thus diluting the individual even further. (what good is more reps in congress if your rep means less?)
Lastly I agree they won’t give up power easily indeed they will(if history is any reference) when forced to face the facts clam to face them while making only as token a cession of power as possible.
Our prudent and practical objective is therefore not to get them to “give up” power but rather have someone else take it from them.
In this case our founders left us with an ingeniously completive system known as federalism. the True American invention, in which our States have the practical miltiary and enforcement might to Say no and put the Federal Government and its political leaders in a real pickle.
But in order for us to really use that might we need to disarm the same government. We will need sufficient support for our cause in at least 1 chamber of congress to veto their spending bills and make the Federal Government shut down thereby robing the Federal Government of its force options. Thus leaving our State Governments as the only player on the field.(The default victor, to be given as much time as they need to consolidate and defend that position.)
Yes we the people can dictate the outcome of this conflict by manipulating both sides, and thereby dictate the meaning of the Federal Constitution. its an old dusty set of tools but they still exist, we simply need to learn how to use em.
I’m still readin what you posted. And may I say “Wow,” thanks for the great post. I would just like to clarify on one point. With reference to this:
“In article 1 section 8 it specifies that the Congress can not fund the army(and by extension the Air-force) for a duration of longer then 2 years at a time. It says nothing about the duration of war, or the Navy for that matter. I think the Founders saw the navy as a non-threat to freedoms on land, and State of War issue to be mute without an Army to enforce the Presidents/dictators will upon the people and their States.”
I wasn’t referring to no exceptions to the duration of the war. I was saying no exceptions to all bills, being read during normal business hours, meaning Congree could pass no middle-of-the-night bills, without people knowing, including war preparations. I was saying if there were such a crisis, that the President can move the limited number of troops, meaning the Congress could still vote the next Congressional Working business day (year right), as it were, and there’d be no excuse for midnight bills and shady “quick, vote while they’re in the bathroom” measures. That’s what I meant.
Ok, I’ve finished. I wanted to address a specific concern you noted:
“Ratifying that last member of the bill of rights might be one of them things we could do. That being said Im not sure we would want that.. It would give big States an even bigger advantage, and it would also make the house of reps to an even more strongly party line based body, thus diluting the individual even further. (what good is more reps in congress if your rep means less?)”
That was the entire thought process between what is now known as “The Great Compromise.” The two bodies of Congress, are split up for that very reason. They agreed upon:
1)A number of Representatives to represent each set of 30,000 people, which I firmly believe in. It’s harder to blackmail and lobby with 25x the number of representatives. Additionally, we were never meant to have a two party system, and if we ever do get back to constitutional pronciples, I think we would see few, or division along a two party line (but what do I know, people always form into groups).
2) The body of the Senate which represents each state equally, regardless of the number of inhabitants. Thus, the bill has to be passed by both bodies in order to become law (after presidential approval, of course). This would be further strengthened if we repealed the 17th amendment, and Senators could be recalled by legislatures, if they did not represent the stat’s people, vs. being in secret political pacts (See Snowe and Collins).
So, I think the claim that is often made of conceding to the bigger states is moot, as if we followed the U.S. Constitution A) The Federal Government would be limited to it’s proper role and B) We’d have greater, not less representation, in my opinion.
P.S. I agree highly with further restriction on Fed LEO’s, as the SCOTUS has ruled that a Sheriff is the Supreme LEO within his Jurisdiction, there should be NO Fed LEO’s in my opinion. They should appeal directly to State Governments, and they in turn to the Counties, but who knows how that would all work out?
Tax revenues run traditionally no matter what the rates at 18% of GDP.
IRC, One proposal was for Congress to only spend -2% below the traditional revenue intake, (or was it a percentage of GDP again below what they are spending.)
That would send Congress to Washington to make really hard decisions.
That would also open the door for a Flat Tax IMHO...
I’m aware of the “great compromises” that created the 2 body system system with the senate being generally the superior with special ratification and consent powers.
Reason: Sovereign authority for the Federal government comes from the people but only indirectly thou their capacity as separate states.
The one thing the house gets of course is the originate spending bills.
Reason: Not all States are created equal in terms of money, indeed money is only produced by people and thus the larger states tend to produce and consume much more money then the smaller states, as the power to spend must be connected to the source of that spending as closely as possible it is critical that the purse starts with the House. But of course its also just as important that the Federal power to tax is equally in sync with the population. They of course broke that with the 16th amendment.
1) I don’t think a house of 10,000+ members could be convened in any one place, as a result it would be prudent to increase that number per rep a bit. Perhaps 1 per every 300 thousand so that we would have a body of approximately only a 1000.
The problem with a large house are not just the issue i mentioned above but also logistically. If the Congress is expected to act as an authorizer of action and oversea of executive orders. Then asking 10,000 people to convene in any one place to authorize war or something in the middle of a crises is to be quite frank unthinkable.
The other issue with a house of such a size is that the human mind was not build to manage that many people. Indeed one of the whole points of Representative democracy as apposed to direct democracy is the very fact that we can’t deal with numbers that large effectively and are thus forced to go with the crowd of allies more and more.
Your right in that it would be equal more expensive to buy them off but then again so would simply diverting the more expensive and valuable functions to the State legislators and local governments.
2) I certainly agree with the propose of the senate although repealing the 17th is not so much about granting the State legislator Recall ability as to keep the senators answerable to the people as it is about keeping the senators protective of state autonomy and power-interest.(thus Federalism).
The Function of the Senate is to help keep the Federal Government from going beyond its bounds in the first place, not so much to make policy as to limit federal policy to actual federal issue.
Lastly there is interestingly enough no authority in the Federal Constitution for Federal LEO’s instead Congress was suppose to be reliant upon calling up the state Militia(a volunteer force) to do that job. The reason of course(as was argued) being that the Militia is not inclined to wage war upon their own rights, nor the State which appointed their officers and conducted their training at Federal command.
As a result the Militia was presumed to be the safest possible force to execute Federal laws consistent with the consent of the governed.
It should be noted that if our States are to push Washington back into its place purging our respective National guards of Federal loyalist officer and training is a vital first step.
Just anther reason why we NEED control of our State Government more then anything else.
I enjoyed readin that last post. I wanted to ask about your thoughts. One of the FAQ questions on the 30,000 site I linked to referred to assembling all of the congressional members into a single place. I contended that the only reason that it was necessary at any point was because of the speed of connunication during that time period, and the time it took to travel to convene.
It is suggested that smaller, regional buildings (like the circuit appelate courts) could house the several hundred representatives for the region, in as much as they actually were required to convene.
Furthermore, I understand the “go with the crowd” mentality, but I believe it’ll happen to a degree, no matter what. Even in Israel’s tiny, coalition based government.
P.S. I didn’t mean to bring up the Great compromise ias an insult, but to factor in that the very purpose was out of concern for that issue. It worked well, in my opinion, but the unintended consequence of limited representatives is that no one could access their reps. (The intended consequence being a consolidation of power). In any event, we agree, the power must be restored to the states, and MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, to the people. That can only happen when people take responsibility for themselves and quit abdicating conscious thought for DVR’d “Dancing with the Stars” and food stamps. Liberty matters, and some of us still want it!
I say go for it. It is the ONLY way spending will ever be controlled.
Yep. This body of politicians only knows how to spend other people’s money. Spending less is not an option, so they just try to take more. It has to stop, eventually.
Onces again I don’t disagree with any of your points.
Indeed I must admit I myself often thought that we might be better off holding secession of congress via Skype or other electorate means as to permit keeping our representatives out of the culturally corrupting atmosphere of Washington D.C.
Haven’t you ever noted how living in a place and with people tends to alter the way most people particularly politicians behave politically? It seems evident to me that the political culture in Washington D.C. is indeed a large part of the problem with our politicians who seem to almost universally become corrupted by the same upon going there.
It therefore would seem to be a very prudent and fruitful step to find ways to keep our politicians out of Washington D.C. and in their home States with their Constituent’s.
I would embrace your Idea here, although I’m not sure it would be necessary to at all modify the Constitution to carry out a remote congress, nor would it necessarily be necessary to even have them congregate in regional buildings.
All that being said as to the matter of “going with the crowd” or party as its more-commonly known in politics is is indeed something that happens in every group to a degree, but that degree is greater the greater the size of the group.
Hence the need to keep the group relatively small so that the individual is more significant, and thus more apt to think and act for themselves rather then their “faction” of the group.
It’s not that I disagree with the utility of a larger body of congress being less practical to be lobbied by special interest, I just am not sure the other costs are worth the possible benefits. In any-case a far simpler solution is to simply decentralizes the power to relatively smaller groups governing over a smaller population.
Thus reducing the beneficial value of that corruption.
In Federalism we dealt with the enormous size problem of the Federal Government by the simple means of reducing its realm of functions and power to a tiny fraction of the functions and powers of a normal government.
In the case of our Federal government they got the military defense against foreign threats, but not necessarily the miltiary itself which was still mostly still held by the States(in the form of the Militia) except during those limited periods of time in which we were at war and congress had raised a regular army.
Republicans are only talking a 2% reduction.
We DO need a balanced budget amendment to stop all the nonsense.