Reasons why Mark Pryor will be defeated in 2014 (Part 11)

It is apparent from this statement below that Senator Mark Pryor is against the Balanced Budget Amendment. He has voted against it over and over like his father did and now I will give reasons in this series why Senator Pryor will be defeated in his re-election bid in 2014. However, first I wanted to quote the statement Senator Pryor gave on December 14, 2011. This information below is from the Arkansas Times Blog on 12-14-11 and Max Brantley:

THREE CHEERS FOR MARK PRYOR: Our senator voted not once, but twice, today against one of the hoariest (and whoriest) of Republican gimmicks, a balanced budget amendment. Let’s quote him:

As H.L. Mencken once said, “For every complex problem there is a solution which is simple, clean, and wrong.” This quote describes the balanced budget amendment. While a balanced budget amendment makes for an easy talking point, it is an empty solution. Moreover, it’s a reckless choice that handcuffs our ability to respond to an economic downturn or national emergencies without massive tax increases or throwing everyone off Medicare, Social Security, or veteran’s care.There is a more responsible alternative to balance the budget. President Clinton led the way in turning deficits into record surpluses. We have that same opportunity today, using the blueprint provided by the debt commission as a starting point. We need to responsibly cut spending, reform our tax code and create job growth. This course requires hard choices over a number of years. However, it offers a more balanced approach over jeopardizing safety net programs and opportunity for robust economic growth.

____________________

Mark Pryor will not be re-elected in 2014 in part because he voted for a 900 billion stimulus bill in 2009. SENATOR PRYOR DOES NOT WANT THE BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT BECAUSE IT WOULD MAKE FUTURE STIMULUS BILLS UNLIKELY. BASICALLY PRYOR BELIEVES THAT GOVERNMENT IS THE SOLUTION TO ALL OUR PROBLEMS. WHY ELSE DID HE VOTE FOR THE FAILED STIMULUS IN 2009?

I have included an article below that makes a very good point about the Balanced Budget Amendment and the stimulus:

Lee believes there are several key components to a balanced budget amendment which he outlines in his book, including making tax increases contingent on a two-thirds vote in Congress so that the option to increase taxes is not the default maneuver to balance a budget. He believes the amendment should require Congress spends no more than it takes in, and in fact should cap the spending at a fixed percent of GDP (the proposal submitted in the Senate caps it at 18 percent of GDP, just about the historical average). There would also be a supermajority vote required to raise the debt ceiling.

And for those who argue that stimulus packages wouldn’t have been possible under the amendment, Lee sees little difficulty responding.

“That’s exibit A for why we ought to have it,” Lee said of the Obama stimulus package.

That is a very good point in favor of having a balanced budget amendment in my view. I have been critical of Pryor for supporting the stimulus in the past.

Lee Makes His Case for a Balanced Budget Amendment

By Elisabeth Meinecke

7/18/2011

As Washington spends the summer arguing over its spending addiction, GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah has a solution to help prevent the same crisis for future generations: a balanced budget amendment.

The House made news last week when, in the heat of negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, they announced a vote on a balanced budget amendment this Wednesday. Though the Senate GOP introduced a one earlier this year, President Obama has stated emphatically otherwise, telling Americans last week during a press conference that the country does not need a balanced budget amendment.

“Yes, we do,” Lee told Townhall when asked to respond to the president, adding later when talking about simultaneously raising the debt ceiling and cutting spending, “We can’t bind what a future Congress will do. We can pass laws that will affect this year, but there will be a new Congress that takes power in January of 2013, and then another new one that will take power in January 2015. And they will make their own spending decisions then — we can’t bind them unless we amend the Constitution to do so.”

Lee points out that the American people support the idea of a balanced budget – 65 percent, according to a Sachs/Mason Dixon poll from this year – but politicians have been reluctant to wade into the debate.

“The fact that we’re in this debate, the fact that we’re sort of deadlocked, or we’ve reached a point of gridlock in the discussions, is indicative of the problem that we have,” Lee said.

In fact, Lee thinks a balanced budget amendment is so important to the future of the country that he’s written a book on it: The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment Is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government.

Lee even takes the argument a step beyond fiscal issues, saying a balanced budget amendment safeguards individual liberties.

““The more money it [Congress] has access to, whether it’s through borrowing or through taxation, either way, that’s going to fuel Congress’ expansion, and whenever government acts, it does so at the expanse of individual liberty,” Lee said. “We become less free every time government expands.”

Lee believes there are several key components to a balanced budget amendment which he outlines in his book, including making tax increases contingent on a two-thirds vote in Congress so that the option to increase taxes is not the default maneuver to balance a budget. He believes the amendment should require Congress spends no more than it takes in, and in fact should cap the spending at a fixed percent of GDP (the proposal submitted in the Senate caps it at 18 percent of GDP, just about the historical average). There would also be a supermajority vote required to raise the debt ceiling.

And for those who argue that stimulus packages wouldn’t have been possible under the amendment, Lee sees little difficulty responding.

“That’s exibit A for why we ought to have it,” Lee said of the Obama stimulus package.

Lee also pointed out that his balanced budget amendment includes an exception to the spending restriction in time of war – “not a blank check, but to the extent necessary.” Congress would also be able to supersede the amendment with a two-thirds vote.

“We wanted to make it difficult, but not impossible, for Congress to spend more than it had access to,” Lee said, citing as an example a massive or immediate crisis created by a national emergency or natural disaster. “What this is designed to do is to make it more difficult – to make it impossible – for Congress to just do this as a matter of course.”

Elisabeth Meinecke

Elisabeth Meinecke is Associate Editor with Townhall.com

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