In a some times interesting, often times boring and repetitive debate on the floor of the United States Congress today, Louisiana Representative Jefff Landry chided President Obama, "We don't need a balanced budget amendment, but you do."
I would disagree to some extent with the honorable gentleman from the Bayou State. There's no doubt that Barack Obama desperately needs a balanced budget amendment. He has no intention of reducing spending any more than absolutely necessary. The fact that the budget has been more than a trillion dollars out of balance for three years in a row shows that The Anointed One isn't serious about balancing the budget. No only has he driven the car off the road into the ditch, he's driven it onto another planet, no mean feat indeed.
Yes, Barack Obama needs a balanced budget amendment to control his natural impulse that government must be big brother or nanny state mama to all of us. In one of his hectoring press conferences last week, Obama slipped into the truth, noting that how we need to get this debt ceiling issue behind us so we could go back to more spending on infrastructure programs like Broadband.
I kid you not. He actually said that.
You just can't make this stuff up.
However, here is where Congressman Landry is wrong. Republicans--remember the big spending when George W. Bush was in control--remember that prescrption drug plan we couldn't afford--remember No Child Left Behind which we couldn't afford--have proved that they can't control the urge to spend.
It's a question of degrees. Your Juddgregg-like Republicans would not overspend quite as much as Obama Democrats, but let's be honest. They overspent and will overspend in the future unless we have a balanced budget amendment.
So the answer to our headline question is that we all, Republicans and Democrats and Independents--we all need a balanced budget amendment. It shouldn't be that way; our elected officials should be able to restrain their impulse to overspend, but clearly they cannot show such restraint. Maybe it's something in the water in D.C., but more likely it's that politicians are simply responding to the people who say they want to spend less but in the same breath, people want government to more and more for them.
We can't have it both ways. Politicians in D.C. are only people like the rest of us, and they--unlike our founders who realized governmenrt was not the answer to problems--cannot control themselves.
Only a balanced budget amendment will control them. Admit it. Sad but true, a balanced budget amendment will be lke methadone to a drug user and antibuse to an alcoholic. It's not a good thing, but it sure is a necessary thing.
Again, sad but true, we all need a balanced budget amendment.
The fact that it came within one vote of going from the House and the Senate to the states (where 38 would be needed to approve) back when Bill Clinto was President says something.
We need a balanced budget now much more than we did in the 1990s, but what are our chances of getting one?
Democrats who accepted the need for one 15 years ago are buying the Obama line today that we don't need it.
As with so much else today, our nanny state big brother President is wrong, wrong, wrong.
The balanced budget is much like the amendment passed in the New Hampshire House earlier this year, the one whch would require a 60 percent majority to pass nex taxes. We shouldn't need it--we should be able to elect people like me who are pledged to keeping spending and taxes under control--but sadly, we are not able to do what we should.
If you need just an iota of proof, look at how many Hillsborough County Republicans--those who are way up there in the HRA scoresheet--allowed Commissioners to overspend in their out of state travel line and then approved $550 transfers for RINO Pappas and Becoming a RINO Ziehm, so they could continue their overspending ways. Even with a balanced budget amendment, those pesky things called transfers plague county government--spend everything in every department, even if there's a penny left over.
A balanced budget is admittedly no panacea, but it's about the best thing we can ask for these days--all of us.