Mark Levin interviews Senator Hatch 1/27/2011 about the balanced budget amendment. Mark is very excited about the balanced budget amendment being proposed by Senator Orin Hatch and John Cornyn and he discusses the amendment with Senator Hatch. Senator Hatch explains the bill it’s ramifications and limitations. Senator Hatch actually worked on this bill with renowned economist Milton Friedman. This ammendment is the first big step in saving our country.
The disagreement is over the solutions — on what spending to cut; what taxes to raise (basically none ever, according to Boozman); whether or not to enact a balanced budget amendment (Boozman says yes; Pryor no); and on what policies would promote the kind of economic growth that would make this a little easier.
Steve Brawner in his article “Senators differ on constitutional change,” Arkansas News Bureau, April 20, 2011 noted:
In the next few weeks, the government will reach its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, the maximum amount it can borrow by law. There will be a big argument about whether or not to raise it. Elected officials will posture. A few concessions will be made here and there. And then Congress will vote to raise the ceiling. The United States government cannot default on its obligations.
The real argument is over what to do about the debt itself. One genuine point of contention between Arkansas’ two senators, Republican John Boozman and Democrat Mark Pryor, is whether to amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget. Boozman supports the idea, made it a centerpiece of his 2010 campaign, and endorsed it in his recent maiden speech, his first address on the Senate floor. Pryor opposes it.
Enacting a balanced budget amendment is not a new idea. In 1995, a proposed amendment passed the House and almost passed the Senate, failing by one vote. The next step would have been ratification by 38 states
Mark Levin had Orrin Hatch on his radio show to talk about the newly proposed Balanced Budget Amendment by himself and John Cornyn. Levin fully supports it and says that it is fundamental to putting us on the right fiscal path. Hatch describes what this newly proposed amendment will actually do:
- Its mandates that total budgetary outlays for any fiscal year not exceed total revenues unless you have a two thirds vote to overturn it.
- It caps federal spending at 20% of GDP.
- It requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress every fiscal year.
- It prohibits revenue raising measures (like increasing taxes) that are not approved by two thirds of both the House and Senate.
- Provisions can be waived if there is a formal declaration of war or if the US is engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security or if two thirds of both the House and the Senate approve.
There are Republican Senators who want to cap spending at around 17% or 18% but Hatch argues that it likely won’t pass if it’s that low. He believes 20% is a reasonable number that will appeal to the 20 or so Democrats needed to get this through the Senate and into the House. Once it passes there it will go to the states where it will need a three-fourths majority, but Hatch is very optimistic that now is the time for this amendment to pass. He’s been working on getting it passed for over three decades.
Noting the spending cap in the amendment, Mark Levin added this via email:
I would prefer the GDP level set at 17%. But 20% is better than 25% and the other provisions of the amendment are very important as well. I believe we really need to get behind this.
UPDATE: Corrected to say three-fourths instead of two-thirds. Thanks to commenter Irishspy for the correction.
Clip of the new movie of Robert Redford.
Starring: James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood, Justin Long, Alexis Bledel, Tom Wilkinson, Danny Huston, Toby Kebbel
Sketch of Mary Surratt during the trial. The sketch appeared on the cover of an 1865
pamphlet titled Trial of the Assassins and Conspirators for the Murder of Abraham Lincoln