Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A bad BBA is no balance at all


Seriously, GOP?! A Balanced Budget Amendment that would allow unlimited federal spending, and also wouldn’t require a supermajority in both houses of Congress to raise taxes? Then what’s the freakin’ point?!

CNSNews reported on this Thursday, saying that “many conservatives have argued that such an amendment--that does not cap spending as a percentage of GDP--is a formula for bigger government and higher taxes.” Absolutely! But Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) says he “supports the strongest balanced budget amendment that can pass the Congress.” Notice the language of the weak.  Do Democrats EVER precede ANYTHING they intend to push through Congress with such limitations? HELL NO! Why are so-called conservatives so easily willing to accept a minority position and unwilling to fight on the basis of Principle? Because perhaps they’re not really conservatives in the first place, nor are they able to follow through on the courage of what should be their conviction in everything that they endorse legislatively.

The conservative electorate, and I’d contend that a vast majority of independents as well, are sick of this consistent weakness. It’s reared its ugly head time and time again throughout the year within our leadership, it’s rearing up in the Super Committee, and we see it whittling away at this integral piece of legislation that could indeed help the People gain control of its government.

It’s refreshing to see a young Senator, Mike Lee of Utah, author of The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government, stand up and call out these weak shenanigans, as well as remind the House that his BBA contains both the necessary caps and the 2/3 vote requirement, while continuing to garner all 47 Republican senators (from a follow up interview with CNSNews on Monday).

“All 47 members of the Republican caucus in the Senate are behind a single proposal. And I’ll tell you, we could not have gotten that type of unanimity within the Republican caucus in the Senate without those provisions--without requiring a super majority to raise taxes and without a percentage-of-GDP cap.

So, I think it would be unwise, given that unanimous support that we’ve got there, for us to back away from those. We don’t want as Republicans to negotiate against ourselves.

Currently, this is the only one in the senate that has garnered a significant number of votes anywhere close to 47. So this needs to come up for a vote, this version of this bill. If people want to vote against that and then face their constituents, they’ll do it at their own peril.

I suspect we’ll get some Democrats as well because those Democrats will not want to face their constituents and say, ‘Sorry, I just can’t require Congress to spend no more than it takes in each year.’”

That is precisely the pressure that must be applied, that demonstrates conservative strength and principle. Why in the world would any member of the majority party in the House of Representatives feel the need to lend a defeating hand to their own party under the misleading assumption that it’s the only thing ‘that can pass the Congress’? A weak amendment emboldens the government to continue its irresponsible spending practices and only assists our political adversaries in the Senate. It just doesn’t make sense to waver on this.

Stand firm, GOP, and if Democrats continue to solidly oppose this in the Senate, make them own that irresponsibility in an election year, because a bad BBA is no balance at all, and will only come back to haunt the Republican Party.

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