PDA

View Full Version : The Long Forgotten Balanced Budget Amendment


Amnorix
02-23-2005, 07:25 PM
I'm currently reading a book that is reminding me of the important political events of the 90s. One thought came to mind. I can't carry on a discussion until later tonight or tomorrow, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Shortly after the 96 elections, in furtherance of the "Contract with America" the Republicans pushed hard for the passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The Democrats resisted, arguing that the federal government shouldn't "tie its hands" with respect to such things. Ultimately, the Democrats succeeded in preventing the proposed amendment from happening. At the time, of course, Republicans accused the Democrats of being only interested in spending more and more, regardless of fiscal ramifications, etc. Typical tax and spend Democrats who would run up the deficit.

Now, with a Republican in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, each year is marked by a larger deficit than the prior year, adding to an already large national debt. The balanced budget amendment apparently would have been their worst nightmare, as they consistently show they are completely unable to avoid spending far more than the government takes in.

So my question is, were the Republicans wrong then, or are they wrong now? :) :p

Cannibal
02-23-2005, 07:36 PM
Bush has not vetoed a single spending bill while in office.

Amnorix
02-23-2005, 07:38 PM
Bush has not vetoed a single spending bill while in office.

Of course not -- he's had a Republican controlled house of Congress during his entire presidency. If he had to veto a bill, he's lost control of his party...

Cannibal
02-23-2005, 07:40 PM
I don't know if that's true or not. I'd like like to think that he'd show some balls and use that veto.

When was last fiscally conservative President we had? We also ran HUGE deficits under Reagan and Bush I. Don't these huge deficits cause inflation?

Amnorix
02-23-2005, 07:44 PM
I don't know if that's true or not. I'd like like to think that he'd show some balls and use that veto.

When was last fiscally conservative President we had? We also ran HUGE deficits under Reagan and Bush I. Don't these huge deficits cause inflation?

Clinton at least tried to shrink the deficit. As for a real budget hawk, you'd really have to go back to Truman and Eisenhower.

whoman69
02-23-2005, 10:28 PM
I don't know if that's true or not. I'd like like to think that he'd show some balls and use that veto.

When was last fiscally conservative President we had? We also ran HUGE deficits under Reagan and Bush I. Don't these huge deficits cause inflation?
The last President preceding Clinton to have a balanced budget was Andrew Jackson. Believe it or not, Franklin Roosevelt was fiscally conservative.

Amnorix
02-23-2005, 10:51 PM
The last President preceding Clinton to have a balanced budget was Andrew Jackson. Believe it or not, Franklin Roosevelt was fiscally conservative.

I'm off to bed, but I find this beyond hard to believe (the Andrew Jackson part).

I'm not sure what FDR would have done during normal times, of course, but he certainly implemented deficit spending out of necessity, as opposed to Hoover, who retained typical conservative spending policy.

siberian khatru
02-23-2005, 10:56 PM
The last balanced budget before Clinton was in 1969, LBJ's last budget year.

Google "balanced budget 1969" and find numerous links.

Pitt Gorilla
02-23-2005, 11:59 PM
Great thread.

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 08:10 AM
Hello?.....hello?.......hello?


Is anybody there?......there?......there?

Are there any Republicans on this bulletin board......bulletin board.....bulletin board?

:huh::shrug:

tiptap
02-24-2005, 08:52 AM
Hello?.....hello?.......hello?


Is anybody there?......there?......there?

Are there any Republicans on this bulletin board......bulletin board.....bulletin board?

:huh::shrug:


They talk a good game but once in power and have to make the decisions they waiver. National deficits and trade imbalance will accelerate the US decline relative to the rest of the world. The days we get to manage 16% of the worlds resources is coming to a close. And spending money on the military and Iraq instead of on education and the strength of OUR people will blunt our ability to responsd to this new situation. Wars may at times be a necessity but they are always a no win for all participants (unless you mean to displace populations and keep resources solely for yourself and then only one side pays the bulk of the costs.)

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 08:57 AM
Wars may at times be a necessity but they are always a no win for all participants (unless you mean to displace populations and keep resources solely for yourself and then only one side pays the bulk of the costs.)

I agreed with the rest of your post, but not this sentence. World War II was a huge net win for the United States and Russia despite not having displaced populations (in the case of Russia, not too much, anyway). England, meanwhile, suffered a net loss.

I'd go with "almost always a no win...".

Saulbadguy
02-24-2005, 09:01 AM
"A balanced budget does not matter."

Donger
02-24-2005, 09:06 AM
My biggest issue with Bush and the present Congress is their spending. I don't know a single conservative that thinks otherwise.

tiptap
02-24-2005, 09:08 AM
I agreed with the rest of your post, but not this sentence. World War II was a huge net win for the United States and Russia despite not having displaced populations (in the case of Russia, not too much, anyway). England, meanwhile, suffered a net loss.

I'd go with "almost always a no win...".

Russia did displace the governing elite of eastern Europe. The US refused to let Western Europe return to colonization of large parts of the world and gain new markets and access to resources again by influencing the new governing identities. It was not a wholesale removal of populations just the governing entities. It is pretty unique though and does make my original statement strained in portraying the circumstances. The overall idea still floats even for WW2.

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 09:12 AM
Russia did displace the governing elite of eastern Europe. The US refused to let Western Europe return to colonization of large parts of the world and gain new markets and access to resources again by influencing the new governing identities. It was not a wholesale removal of populations just the governing entities. It is pretty unique though and does make my original statement strained in portraying the circumstances. The overall idea still floats even for WW2.

Not to veer utterly off-topic (how rare), but:

1. You said displace populations, not "governing elite". Every war that doesn't end in stalemate will result in displacing the government, since that's how you win.

2. The US did block colonization, but that wasn't what assured the US's ascendancy. In all ways the US came out of the war stronger than before. It's international prestige was higher, it's finances the strongest in the world (due to the damage the war did to England, primarily) and the elimination of all other existing world powers, as such, during the war.

The war was unique, I agree, but I still think your comment does not apply. The USSR suffered tremendous casualties and losses during the war, both in terms of people and equipment, and yet they ended the war far stronger because of their domination over a much larger area, without the displacement of population.

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 09:13 AM
My biggest issue with Bush and the present Congress is their spending. I don't know a single conservative that thinks otherwise.

Thank you for at least appearing on this thread. :)

Donger
02-24-2005, 09:21 AM
Thank you for at least appearing on this thread. :)

As to your question, the Republicans are wrong now, as is any political group that opposes a forced BB. As taxpayers, this should infuriate ALL OF US. Interest payments on our debt alone make up something like 20% of each year's budget. It's revolting.

However, I'm not sure how much of the spending increase that Bush and the Republicans in Congress have made has been used to fight the present war. Does anyone know? Historically, if you look at our national debt, it increases dramatically during times of war (duh); either hot or cold.

KCTitus
02-24-2005, 09:29 AM
Im all for a BBA...sounds great. Need more money to fund the iraq effort, cut entitlements to the bone.

Pretty simple IMO.

siberian khatru
02-24-2005, 09:31 AM
Thank you for at least appearing on this thread. :)

Oh, please.

Amno: Can anybody tell me if the sky is blue? Anybody? ANYBODY???? HEY, I'M TALKING TO YOU!!!!

Donger: Yes, the sky is blue.

Amno: Well, thank God SOMEONE is braaaaaave enough to whisper the awful truth!

Jeesh.

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 09:38 AM
As to your question, the Republicans are wrong now, as is any political group that opposes a forced BB. As taxpayers, this should infuriate ALL OF US. Interest payments on our debt alone make up something like 20% of each year's budget. It's revolting.

However, I'm not sure how much of the spending increase that Bush and the Republicans in Congress have made has been used to fight the present war. Does anyone know? Historically, if you look at our national debt, it increases dramatically during times of war (duh); either hot or cold.

A balanced budget amendment IMHO doesn't make sense because there are times (war, recession) when you may need to outspend income.

However, outspending income in perpetuity and without a really good reason for it (such was war or to get out of a recession) is foolish. That's what we've allowed to happen over the last 25+ years.

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 09:39 AM
Oh, please.

Funny, Donger managed to discuss the subject intelligently. Maybe you should try too.

Donger
02-24-2005, 09:41 AM
A balanced budget amendment IMHO doesn't make sense because there are times (war, recession) when you may need to outspend income.

However, outspending income in perpetuity and without a really good reason for it (such was war or to get out of a recession) is foolish. That's what we've allowed to happen over the last 25+ years.

I don't disagree. So, have some highly defined exceptions.

Considering what you just wrote, can we conclude that you are fine with Bush's spending over the last four years?

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 09:43 AM
I don't disagree. So, have some highly defined exceptions.

Considering what you just wrote, can we conclude that you are fine with Bush's spending over the last four years?

I am, in fact, fine with deficit spending over the last four years. I disagreed not with his enacting tax cuts, but the specific tax cuts he chose to enact (which for the most part were not specifically designed to get the economy moving).

I also disagree with whether Iraq was a war we were required to fight, or should have fought. But now that we're stuck there thanks to him we can't really cheap out or run away from it, so we're stuck with the horrendous costs (billion a week or whatever it is).

siberian khatru
02-24-2005, 09:47 AM
Funny, Donger managed to discuss the subject intelligently. Maybe you should try too.

You mean like this?

Originally Posted by Amnorix
Hello?.....hello?.......hello?


Is anybody there?......there?......there?

Are there any Republicans on this bulletin board......bulletin board.....bulletin board?

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 09:51 AM
You mean like this?

There's some substantive conversation going on here. Feel free to participate. Otherwise, stop wasting bandwidth with pointless posts. You don't like that I brought some potentially hypocritical actions on the part of the Republican Party over the last 4 years compared to what they were saying about 10 years ago, fine. TFB. The fact is that it's an invitation to address the subject in some manner. My first post was obviously partisan, but also substantive. If the right is just going to duck and run from the whole thing, then I'm going to call them on it.

Now kindly either join the discussion or don't, but stop wasting my time.

siberian khatru
02-24-2005, 10:00 AM
There's some substantive conversation going on here. Feel free to participate. Otherwise, stop wasting bandwidth with pointless posts. You don't like that I brought some potentially hypocritical actions on the part of the Republican Party over the last 4 years compared to what they were saying about 10 years ago, fine. TFB. The fact is that it's an invitation to address the subject in some manner. My first post was obviously partisan, but also substantive. If the right is just going to duck and run from the whole thing, then I'm going to call them on it.

Now kindly either join the discussion or don't, but stop wasting my time.

Chill out. You weren't getting the responses you wanted in a timely fashion, so you jumped up and down waving your arms. Donger responded with a general one-sentence reply and you acted like he'd done you a favor. I was merely poking fun at your initial arm-waving, not torpedoeing your substantive discussion. You may carry on with that.

You are WAY off base assuming I have political motives. In fact, I completely agree with Donger. Indeed, I think reading the DC forum over the last several months that it is quite clear that the vast majority of conservatives/Republicans on this board abhor Bush's spending record.

And you may not believe this, but last night I actually typed up a reasonable response to your thread starter on deficit spending and Republican hypocrisy on the matter. The gist of which was, the GOP shares credit with Clinton in 90s for getting to a balanced budget, because the GOP used deficits as a political weapon to check Clinton's agenda. Yet, with a Republican in office, and majority fever gripping many Republican congressional leaders, the GOP is no longer interested in fiscal discipine.

I killed it before posting, however, because I felt this subject has been argued extensively here and it was late and I just didn't feel like getting into an extended discussion.

So again, chill out, friend. :)

Donger
02-24-2005, 10:02 AM
I am, in fact, fine with deficit spending over the last four years. I disagreed not with his enacting tax cuts, but the specific tax cuts he chose to enact (which for the most part were not specifically designed to get the economy moving).

Perhaps not, but the fact is that the cuts did get us out of recession rather quickly (by Q4 of 2001, by most estimates). I don't doubt that part of the reason for the cuts were ideological. Most conservatives believe that the tax burden on the wealthiest Americans is already too much. So, that comes down to pure political ideology. And, yes, I know that you disagree! Let's not also forget that the tax cuts were implemented before 9/11 and the spending that has resulted.

I also disagree with whether Iraq was a war we were required to fight, or should have fought. But now that we're stuck there thanks to him we can't really cheap out or run away from it, so we're stuck with the horrendous costs (billion a week or whatever it is).

No disagreement here. The war in Iraq was voluntary. Only time will tell if it was a wise long-term investment.

Pitt Gorilla
02-24-2005, 02:44 PM
Chill out. You weren't getting the responses you wanted in a timely fashion, so you jumped up and down waving your arms. Donger responded with a general one-sentence reply and you acted like he'd done you a favor. I was merely poking fun at your initial arm-waving, not torpedoeing your substantive discussion. You may carry on with that.

You are WAY off base assuming I have political motives. In fact, I completely agree with Donger. Indeed, I think reading the DC forum over the last several months that it is quite clear that the vast majority of conservatives/Republicans on this board abhor Bush's spending record.

And you may not believe this, but last night I actually typed up a reasonable response to your thread starter on deficit spending and Republican hypocrisy on the matter. The gist of which was, the GOP shares credit with Clinton in 90s for getting to a balanced budget, because the GOP used deficits as a political weapon to check Clinton's agenda. Yet, with a Republican in office, and majority fever gripping many Republican congressional leaders, the GOP is no longer interested in fiscal discipine.

I killed it before posting, however, because I felt this subject has been argued extensively here and it was late and I just didn't feel like getting into an extended discussion.

So again, chill out, friend. :)Settle down, Francis.

siberian khatru
02-24-2005, 02:45 PM
Settle down, Francis.

It's "lighten up, Francis."

And don't touch my stuff. Any of you homos touch my stuff -- I'll kill ya.

:) :p

bkkcoh
02-24-2005, 02:49 PM
... At the time, of course, Republicans accused the Democrats of being only interested in spending more and more, regardless of fiscal ramifications, etc. Typical tax and spend Democrats who would run up the deficit.

Now, with a Republican in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, each year is marked by a larger deficit than the prior year, adding to an already large national debt. The balanced budget amendment apparently would have been their worst nightmare, as they consistently show they are completely unable to avoid spending far more than the government takes in.

So my question is, were the Republicans wrong then, or are they wrong now? :) :p

IIRC, the republicans also passed a line-item veto, but the courts knocked it down and declared it unconstitutional.

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 02:54 PM
IIRC, the republicans also passed a line-item veto, but the courts knocked it down and declared it unconstitutional.

Correct, although I'll note that Clinton signed it, so that wasn't just a Republican desire.

IMHO, however, the courts were correct to declare it unconstitutional. Power has been shifting steadily away from the legislative branch to the executive branch for a very long time now. The line item veto would have given far too much power to the President.

KCTitus
02-24-2005, 03:23 PM
Correct, although I'll note that Clinton signed it, so that wasn't just a Republican desire.

It never made the presidents desk prior to the Class of 94. It says a lot about the republicans that they passed the legislation and GAVE that power to a democrat president. The Dems who stalled the legislation for years prior never did anything like that.

The only reason the courts stuck it down, it was the SCOTUS btw, was because the king of pork, himself, Byrd took it to court.

morphius
02-24-2005, 03:32 PM
I believe that the balanced budget amendment had a provision for during war times, which we have been in if anyone was paying attention. You ask why, its because countries always run deficits during wars...

Any other questions?

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 04:25 PM
It never made the presidents desk prior to the Class of 94. It says a lot about the republicans that they passed the legislation and GAVE that power to a democrat president. The Dems who stalled the legislation for years prior never did anything like that.

The only reason the courts stuck it down, it was the SCOTUS btw, was because the king of pork, himself, Byrd took it to court.

I'll agree that more Republican supported the line item veto than Democrats. But Clinton did sign it, even though the Reps couldn't have overcome a veto.

The Supreme Court struck it down because it was obviously unconstitutional. It's a huge shift in power from the legislative to the executive branch. That's just the way it is.

Amnorix
02-24-2005, 04:30 PM
I believe that the balanced budget amendment had a provision for during war times, which we have been in if anyone was paying attention. You ask why, its because countries always run deficits during wars...

Any other questions?

This is so great. Your'e wrong on like 20 levels.

First, the only exception was if 60% of both houses of congress voted to override it.

http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/releases/1997/v5.htm

Second, there's been no "declared war" since World War II (or would you let the President decide unilaterally when we were at war?).

Third, we're not currently at WAR, as the United States Constitution would see things. A war requires Congress says so. That ain't the case.

Fourth, we would be running a deficit with or without our Iraq commitments.

Good stuff... Lob me more softballs. :p

whoman69
02-24-2005, 08:12 PM
As to your question, the Republicans are wrong now, as is any political group that opposes a forced BB. As taxpayers, this should infuriate ALL OF US. Interest payments on our debt alone make up something like 20% of each year's budget. It's revolting.

However, I'm not sure how much of the spending increase that Bush and the Republicans in Congress have made has been used to fight the present war. Does anyone know? Historically, if you look at our national debt, it increases dramatically during times of war (duh); either hot or cold.
That argument might hold water if the fact that if our defense department didn't spend a dime last year, we still would have been in debt.

morphius
02-24-2005, 09:21 PM
This is so great. Your'e wrong on like 20 levels.

First, the only exception was if 60% of both houses of congress voted to override it.

http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/releases/1997/v5.htm

Second, there's been no "declared war" since World War II (or would you let the President decide unilaterally when we were at war?).

Third, we're not currently at WAR, as the United States Constitution would see things. A war requires Congress says so. That ain't the case.

Fourth, we would be running a deficit with or without our Iraq commitments.

Good stuff... Lob me more softballs. :p
So you don't think that 60% vote was put in place in case of money needed to fight a war?

bkkcoh
02-25-2005, 06:33 AM
Correct, although I'll note that Clinton signed it, so that wasn't just a Republican desire.

IMHO, however, the courts were correct to declare it unconstitutional. Power has been shifting steadily away from the legislative branch to the executive branch for a very long time now. The line item veto would have given far too much power to the President.

Amnorix,

What do you think of 'Executive Orders', how are those not too much power...... :hmmm:

Amnorix
02-25-2005, 07:07 AM
Amnorix,

What do you think of 'Executive Orders', how are those not too much power...... :hmmm:

I'm aware of executive orders in a general sense. They are tremendously powerful, I know, but since I don't know what the limits are, I can't really comment on whether they seem to be overreaching to me.

I know Congress can overrule them via veto, but that's obviously very tough to do.

Amnorix
02-25-2005, 07:10 AM
So you don't think that 60% vote was put in place in case of money needed to fight a war?

Mostly, I think 60% was put in place in case 60% of both houses of Congress decided they need to outspend revenues.

morphius
02-25-2005, 10:15 AM
Mostly, I think 60% was put in place in case 60% of both houses of Congress decided they need to outspend revenues.
The main reason that was added is that they knew that in times of war that they would run a deficit and that during a recession that it is sometimes good for the gov't to run a deficit to help improve the economy...

The whole act of war thing is weak at best, Congress is afraid to use because they know it stands a good chance of being shot down by the supreme court if they ever actually use it to challange a President.

Amnorix
02-25-2005, 10:57 AM
The main reason that was added is that they knew that in times of war that they would run a deficit and that during a recession that it is sometimes good for the gov't to run a deficit to help improve the economy...

The whole act of war thing is weak at best, Congress is afraid to use because they know it stands a good chance of being shot down by the supreme court if they ever actually use it to challange a President.

Actually, Congress has another way to prevent wars it doesn't want -- stop financing them.

siberian khatru
02-25-2005, 11:01 AM
Actually, Congress has another way to prevent wars it doesn't want -- stop financing them.

Which is why it also doesn't need a BBA. All it requires is willpower. The BBA was Congress' way of saying "Save us from ourselves!"

morphius
02-25-2005, 11:03 AM
Which is why it also doesn't need a BBA. All it requires is willpower. The BBA was Congress' way of saying "Save us from ourselves!"
Sad but true...

Cochise
02-25-2005, 11:13 AM
I agree with what a lot of people have said. The government should be forced to have a balanced budget every year.

I don't like the way the Bush administration is spending money left and right. Do I think we're miles better off than we would have been with Kerry? Sure. I think the spending with Kerry would have been even higher, and with Bush we at least get spending on some things that I think are worthwhile.

But, what others have said in this thread is right, we need a forced annual balanced budget, some kind of real government spending control. Unfortunately that isn't in the best electoral interest of every party, with campaigns being goodie contests that amount to who can promise to spend the most on handouts.

It's needed but unfortunately neither party is committed to it right now.