Most people would agree that the spending in the federal budget is getting out of control. A balanced budget issue is an issue that everyone seems willing to talk about, but few are willing to tackle. It’s usually an issue tailor made for the ‘out of power’ party to run on, but few are willing to actually put their name behind a ‘no more money’ balanced budget amendment in the manner it appears Lee Terry is trying to do. Bravo Congressman!
The fiasco spending began in 2006. The Democrats took control of Congress, Congress controls the purse strings. Bush feared that with all the campaigning the Democrats did against Iraq that he would lose the finances necessary to continue his actions in Iraq. Bush gave into the Democrats, and Republicans felt compelled to follow their party’s leader down the rabbit hole. The spending that began to be disastrous has, four years later, entered the fiasco phase.
The quandary politicians now face is that spending money is what they do. It’s their life blood, and it’s their very reason for being. If a politician doesn’t bring the money back to his home state, he has little to nothing to run on in the next election. If a politician votes “No” on spending measures, they fear that their eventual opponent in their next election will use it in campaign ads, and that campaign ad is a very easy one to draw up. “Congressman (fill in the blank) voted “No” on spending measures (a specific number of times) that would’ve helped Nebraska farmers, Nebraska’s poor, and Nebraska’s working families, Congressman (fill in the blank) has shown time and time again that he doesn’t care about Nebraska’s working families.” It’s difficult to defeat such sloganeering with the rational response: “We have no more money.” It’s difficult to paint for them a picture of U.S. insolvency, it’s difficult to paint for them a portrait of an America that has become so in debt to China that we have sacrificed our sovereignty, it’s difficult to get them to think big. As another Congressman, Tip O’Neill, once said, “All politics is local.” Voters care about their pocketbook, they care about their entitlements, and they want theirs regardless of the consequences to the nation. This is the way they vote. All politics is local.
Enter Lee Terry Congressional Representative of the second district in Nebraska. Terry faced a tough reelection bid in ’08, and he surely faces a tough bid for his seventh reelection bid in the 2nd district of Nebraska. I know, I know, the Congressional Quarterly just upgraded Terry’s chance for re-election from ‘lean’ to ‘likely’, but Terry isn’t in the ‘safe’ designation yet. The move to propose a balanced budget amendment, even if it doesn’t make it past Pelosi, is a move by a Congressman that is usually by a politician in the ‘safe’ designation. The move is almost imperative, but no one else has made it. Bravo Congressman!
Congressman Lee Terry issued the following statement today after introducing legislation proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
“As of today, our national debt is $13 trillion, which works out to $118,700 for each taxpayer,” said Congressman Lee Terry. “If we continue to spend more money than we take in each year, our children and grandchildren will be saddled with this debt and unable to enjoy the same quality of life that we do today.”
“Nebraska’s constitution requires a balanced budget. Most families that I know try hard to live within their budget. Why should the federal government be allowed to spend money it simply doesn’t have? This balanced budget amendment is a common sense proposal. It will hopefully help jump start serious and much-needed discussions in Congress about the fiscal health of our country.”
This joint resolution would amend the constitution to include an article that requires the President of the United States to transmit to Congress a proposed U.S. Government budget in which total outlays do not exceed total receipts for each fiscal year. Revenues could not be increased unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House voted to do so by a roll call vote. Congress would only be allowed to waive the provisions of this article for any fiscal year in which a declaration of war was in effect.