Posted by Frank Oak on 02/27 at 01:54 PM | #
"Why exactly would passing a balanced budget amendment lead to more unconstitutional spending? If it is a duly-ratified amendment, then how would it authorize other spending that violates the other provisions of the Constitution?"
My conclusion is based on 3 things: A legal rule of construction, my knowledge of how lawyers & judges "think", & my knowledge of human nature.
1.It boils down to this: Say you have a 16-year-old daughter & tell her to abstain from sex until she is married. Next week, you give her a bag of condoms & tell her you will give her such a bag every month.
2. The "Rule of Construction" is this: When there are contradictory provisions, "...the last in order of time shall be preferred to the first. But this is a mere rule of construction, not derived from any positive law, but from the nature and reason of the thing...". (Hamilton, Federalist No. 78, 12th para).
3. For 41 years, legal "minds" have been the "minds" I know best. The federal courts, Congress, & Executive Branch already ignore the essence of our Constitution, which is that it is one of enumerated powers only, and the list of objects on which Congress may lawfully appropriate funds is very short. The Balanced Budget Amendment does not address that unconstitutional spending. All it purports to do is limit that unconstitutional spending to "only" 20% of the GDP. But if Congress restricted its spending to its enumerated objects, it could not possibly spend such a large sum as 20% of the GDP!
If Congress made laws only on its enumerated powers, there would be so few federal statutes that most federal judges would have absolutely nothing to do - Congress could cut 99% of them.
The federal government established by our Constitution is very small and has power over only those 21 or so objects delegated to them. In one of his 6 Papers on taxation, Hamilton says that the only significant expense of the federal government would be in times of War.
By not addressing Congress' unconstitutional spending, & by approving the spending of 20% of the GDP - a sum Congress could not possibly consume if it were restricted to its constitutional powers - the balanced budget amendment impliedly repeals the enumerated powers aspect of our Constitution. The rule of Construction mentioned by Hamilton would be applied, and our Constitution would no longer be one of enumerated powers - just one with a spending cap (which, of course, as our esteemed Mike Foil points out, can be exceeded in times of war, emergencies, when a certain number in Congress approve exceeding the 20%, etc.)
Posted by Publius Huldah on 02/27 at 01:00 PM | #
Posters and Readers!
Please understand that 'James' is what is known as a TROLL. He/she copies and pastes all over the net... in attempts to change constructive dialog... and even the topic, to arguments with naught but disinformation and plain old BS. He/she is one of zero's team players.
The best practice is to just ignore.
PH... You know your on point and have hit a nerve when you see his type show up.
March on dear, we do have your back!
Yeah james, me again... and I will continue to front you and yours off at every opportunity. Get real used to it.
Posted by Duke-Jinx on 02/26 at 04:51 AM | #
Bravo. This is a wonderful article that ought to be mandatory reading for every member of the US Congress.
Posted by Morry Markovitz on 02/25 at 05:32 PM | #
To James: You wrote, "This amendment would end deficit spending."
Currently, there are multiple Joint Resolutions for a balanced budget amendment. There are two with the most support, H.J.Res.1 and H.J.Res.2. They are basically the same but have a minor differences. HJR1 limits spending to 20% of GDP unless 2/3 vote for increase. #2 does not have this. #1 requires 3/5 vote to increase taxes, #2 requires a majority. Other sections appear identical.
Many want one of these passed and sent to the States for ratification. Here are some of my concerns:
1. Most sections can be made of no effect by a vote of Congress. So, as tricky as they have shown themselves to be, they would find some way around the amendment when they wanted.
2. HJR1 limits spending to 1/5 of GDP. The inflation rate has been manipulated by excluding fuel and food prices. The unemployment rate is massaged by excluding those not receiving jobless benefits, I would expect some sort of manipulation in the GDP number.
3. It still allows for a 3/5 vote to increase the debt limit. So, there is nothing that would stop Washington from borrowing more.
4. The President is to submit a balanced budget based on proposed revenues. We already see gross distortion in estimating income and expenses for the things they want.
5. The whole amendment can be waived in any year when war is declared, or when there is a military conflict which causes a serious threat to national security. If this had been in effect for the past nine years, it could have been waived each year. It would have done nothing to control the excess spending we are experiencing.
6. The revenue and outlay numbers for the "balanced budget" do not include limiting the borrowing of more money and do not include the payments on debt. We could continually go further in debt each year; in fact, we would almost have to because they would do a budget where all tax revenue is spent on budget items, exclusive of the debt repayment. Where do we get the money to pay the interest for the debt? We would have to borrow it.
7. None of this would take effect until at least 2017. So, from now until then, if ratified, spending could continue out of control.
It does not seem right to add an Amendment to the Constitution which is full of exceptions and built-in over-ride allowances. What we need are people filling the seats who will do the job we sent them there to do. Congress controls the purse strings. There is nothing to stop them from demanding a balanced budget, right now. If getting control of spending is something they believe is good, "just do it!" NO waiting and NO excuses!
Posted by Mike Foil on 02/25 at 03:52 AM | #
After reading PH’s paper and your response I am wondering what your qualifications are. I thought her paper was brilliant.
Posted by Frank Oak on 02/25 at 03:30 AM | #
There are usually snippets of wisdom in your articles, but in this case, you fail to meet even the most basic requirements for rational thought. This amendment would end deficit spending. It is by no means the end-all answer for the unconstitutional methods congress has shown in the past, it is, however, a brave and Constitutional step in the right direction.
Posted by James on 02/25 at 01:48 AM | #
@Publius Huldah--Thank you so much for your clarification of impeachment. Please keep doing such good articles with Canada Free Press. I am so impressed with all your information.
Posted by Barbara-Jo on 02/25 at 01:14 AM | #
Why the Balanced Budget Amendment is The WORST Idea Ever
Posted by Publius Huldah on Feb 24, 2011 at 12:19 PM
Our Constitution Created a Limited Federal Government with Enumerated Powers
Senator Jim De Mint (who should know better) is supporting The Balanced Budget Amendment. Proponents of this “fix” trumpet these supposed benefits: That the amendment would:
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