NYT Finally Admits 'Gender Affirming Care' Is Dangerous
According to Joe Biden, Americans Are All Just a Bunch of Idiots
Biden Admin Considering Taking Trump-Era Measures to Combat Border Crisis
Court Rules Against the Biden Admin's Request to Reinstate Student Loan Bailout
There Are Supposedly 20 Solid Votes Opposing Kevin McCarthy for Speaker
Border Residents and Law Enforcement Brace for When Title 42 Goes Away
Fact Check: White House's Misleading Claim Biden Has Been to the Southern Border
Don Lemon Loses His Juice, Max Boot Turns Pro-Commie, and Chris Hayes Cries...
Boring, Babbling, Insufferable Joe Biden
The Only Question That Matters Now Regarding Trump's Tax Returns
So, the Secret Service's Rental Vehicles Went Up in Flames in Nantucket
Will Ron DeSantis Run in 2024? His Latest Move May Suggest So
‘House of Horrors’: Man Charged With Decapitation of Woman Inside Philly Home
Musk Confirms: Yes, Twitter Has Interfered in Elections
New Study Has Some Bad News for Wind Energy Advocates

We Don't Need a Balanced Budget Amendment

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The Constitution already places strict limits on what the federal government can and cannot do. The problem is that those limits have become stretched over the years to the point that the federal government can do pretty much what it pleases. As a result, Americans have become accustomed to, and dependent upon, the federal government to supervise their lives from cradle to grave.

Most Republicans are about as enthusiastic to confront this reality as most Democrats are in reversing it. Thus, the convenient resurgence in popularity for a balanced budget amendment on the part of Republicans has been driven by an unwillingness — or inability — to flesh out exactly what federal agencies and programs would have to go in order to bring the budget into balance without raising taxes.

Indeed, it's not a coincidence that the balanced budget amendment wasn't a priority for Republicans when they were jacking up spending and debt during George W. Bush's tenure. Now that the Obama Democrats have done the Republicans one better on the fiscal profligacy front, the GOP is really just looking to score political points for the November 2012 elections by hoisting up the balanced budget amendment as a litmus test for fiscal propriety.

However, the purpose of the balanced budget amendment is to put an end to budget deficits, and deficits are only a symptom of the real problem: too much spending. Therefore, Republicans who support the balanced budget amendment cannot cite it as evidence that they're serious about cutting spending unless they're prepared to detail what they would cut in order to bring the budget into balance.

While proponents of the balanced budget amendment argue that it would also reign in spending, almost all the states possess balanced budget requirements and that hasn't stopped state spending from continuing to increase. In fact, the balanced budget amendment would actually end up solidifying the oversized and overbearing federal government we have today. Therefore, policymakers who truly desire a federal government that is smaller in size and scope should concentrate their efforts on convincing the American people that the country would be better off.

Tad DeHaven is a budget analyst at the Cato Institute and co-editor of Downsizing Government.org.

This article appeared in Us News and World Report

Join the conversation as a VIP Member


Trending on Townhall Video