Balance Budget Amendment the answer? Boozman says yes, Pryor no, Part 10 (The Conspirator part 6)


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Steve Brawner in his article “Safer roads and balanced budgets,” Arkansas News Bureau, April 13, 2011, noted:

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.

Marco Rubio published the following op-ed on earlier this week (cross-posted on his Facebook page):

Townhall | Marco Rubio | “Washington Needs a Balanced Budget Amendment”

In my two short months in office, it has become clear to me that the spending problem in Washington is far worse than many of us feared. For years, politicians have blindly poured more and more borrowed money into ineffective government programs, leaving us with trillion dollar deficits and a crippling debt burden that threatens prosperity and economic growth.

In the Florida House of Representatives, where a balanced budget is a requirement, we had to make the tough choices to cut spending where necessary because it was required by state law. By no means was this an easy process, but it was our duty as elected officials to be accountable to our constituents and to future generations of Floridians. In Washington, a balanced budget amendment is not just a fiscally-responsible proposal, it’s a necessary step to curb politicians’ decades-long penchant for overspending.

Several senators have proposed balanced budget amendments that ensure Congress will not spend a penny more than we take in, while setting a high hurdle for future tax hikes. I am a co-sponsor of two balanced budget amendments, since it is clear that these measures would go a long way to reversing the spending gusher we’ve seen from Washington in recent years.

During my Senate campaign, while surrounded by the employees of Jacksonville’s Meridian Technologies, I proposed 12 simple ways to cut spending in Washington. That company, founded 13 years ago, has grown into a 200-employee, high-tech business, and the ideas I proposed would help ensure that similar companies have the opportunity to start or expand just like Meridian did.

To be clear, our unsustainable debt and deficits are threatening companies like Meridian and impeding job creation. In addition to proposing a balanced budget amendment, I recommended canceling unspent “stimulus” funds, banning all earmarks and returning discretionary spending to 2008 levels.

Fortunately, some of my ideas have found their way to the Senate chamber. The first bill I co-sponsored in the Senate was to repeal ObamaCare, the costly overhaul of our nation’s health care system that destroys jobs and impedes our economic recovery. Democratic leaders in the Senate have expressed their willingness to ban earmarks for two years after the Senate Republican conference adopted a moratorium. I have also co-sponsored the REINS Act, a common-sense measure that would increase accountability and transparency in our outdated and burdensome regulatory process. These bills, along with a balanced budget amendment, would help get our country back on a sustainable path and provide certainty to job creators.

While Republicans are proposing a variety of ideas to rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending, unfortunately, President Obama’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year proposes to spend $46 trillion, and even in its best year, the deficit would remain above $600 billion. Worst of all, the President’s budget completely avoids addressing the biggest drivers of our long-term debt – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Rather than tackle these tough, serious issues, President Obama is proposing a litany of tax hikes on small businesses and entrepreneurs, to the tune of more than $1.6 trillion. These tax increases destroy jobs, make us less competitive internationally and hurt our efforts to grow the economy and get our fiscal house in order.


I went to see the movie “The Conspirator” the other night and I really enjoyed it. Since then I have been digging up facts about the trial and the people involved in the trial.

by Dr. Ted Baehr,

Peter Rainer’s review of “The Conspirator”:

Robert Redford’s workmanlike “The Conspirator” is about Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), a Confederate sympathizer who was executed for her complicity, which she denied, in the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Tried in a military court as a civilian along with eight other alleged conspirators, she became the first woman to be executed by the United States federal government.

When we are first introduced to Mary, her lawyer, Union war hero Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy), believing she is guilty, is reluctant to take her case. As the proprietor of a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and his other collaborators, including her son John (Johnny Simmons), met regularly, her claims of innocence initially ring hollow.

But Frederick delves deeper and doubts are raised, as are his hackles when he discovers that Mary, at the instigation of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (Kevin Kline), is being railroaded. (At the time of her trial, her son had not yet been captured, and she was, among things, a convenient scapegoat.)

Mary is unmistakably being utilized by Redford and his screenwriter James Solomon as a stand-in for post-9/11 victimization. He makes it clear that the post-Civil War mood, inflamed by the assassination, was ripe for rabble-rousing and the suspension of civil liberties – the liberties that soldiers like Frederick fought and died for. The images of the conspirators in the courthouse with their heads hooded in canvas bags summons up Abu Ghraib. Stanton is placed in the same strongman continuum as Dick Cheney.

The supposed contemporaneity of Surratt’s story – the equating of Booth’s cronies with Gitmo prisoners – is more than a bit of a stretch, and Redford doesn’t give enough credence to the justifiable hysteria that ordinary Americans felt at the time. Essentially “The Conspirator” is a courtroom drama with occasional bulletins from the outside world. It plays out to its predictable end with the doggedness, if not the verve, of a “Law and Order” episode.

Still, the nightmare of Lincoln’s assassination, and its immediate aftermath, is effectively delivered, and Wright, shrouded in black, her face a mask of indomitable sorrow, gives great gravity to what might otherwise have been a waxworks historical reenactment. Grade: B- (Rated PG-13 for some violent content.)

A balanced budget amendment would be a necessary step in reversing Washington’s tax-borrow-spend mantra. It would force Congress to balance its budget each year – not allow it to pass our problems on to the next generation any longer.

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