Dear Senator Pryor, why not pass the Balanced Budget Amendment? (“Thirsty Thursday”, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

Mark Levin and Senator Hatch discuss the balanced budget amendment and it’s importance.

Uploaded by on Jan 28, 2011

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.


Dear Senator Pryor,

Why not pass the Balanced  Budget Amendment? As you know that federal deficit is at all time high (1.6 trillion deficit with revenues of 2.2 trillion and spending at 3.8 trillion).

On my blog I took you at your word and sent you over 100 emails with specific spending cut ideas. However, I did not see any of them in the recent debt deal that Congress adopted. Now I am trying another approach. Every week from now on I will send you an email explaining different reasons why we need the Balanced Budget Amendment. It will appear on my blog on “Thirsty Thursday” because the government is always thirsty for more money to spend.

I really wish we would restraint the growth of the federal budget and the only way to do that is to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment. My favorite economist was Milton Friedman and he discusses that below:


Written By : John Hawkins
February 25, 2012


Yesterday, I did a twenty minute interview by phone with Milton Friedman. Of course, Mr. Friedman has an INCREDIBLE resume. He won the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science, won the “Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and received the National Medal of Science the same year”.

He was also an “economic adviser to Senator Barry Goldwater in his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 1964, to Richard Nixon in his successful 1968 campaign, to President Nixon subsequently, and to Ronald Reagan in his 1980 campaign.”

There is much, much, more I could add. But I think the fact that Mr. Friedman finished in a tie for the 15 slot when RWN had conservative bloggers select, “The Greatest Figures Of The 20th Century gives you some idea of Mr. Friedman’s stature.

Enjoy the interview!

John Hawkins: Slate’s Chris Suellentrop has pointed out that Howard Dean has said “that he would demand that other countries adopt the exact same labor, environmental, health, and safety standards as the United States” if they wanted trade agreements with us (Dean said something similar to the WAPO). If that policy were ever implemented, what sort of damage do you think it would cause to the US economy?

Milton Friedman: I think it would cause immense damage, not to the US economy, but to other economies around the world — much more to the others than to us.

John Hawkins: Really? So you don’t really think it would hurt the US economy that much?

Milton Friedman: It would hurt the US economy, but it would be disastrous for the countries that are smaller than we are. World trade depends on differences among countries, not similarities. Different countries are in different stages of development. It is appropriate for them to have different patterns, different policies for ecology, labor standards, and so forth.

From my point of view, we in the United States have gone overboard in respect to the extent of regulation and detailed control of labor standards, industry, and the like. It’s bad for us, but fortunately we had two hundred years of relatively free development to provide a strong basis to sustain the cost. But to impose this on other countries that are not at that stage would be a disgraceful thing to do.

John Hawkins: Because it would keep them from ever getting to the point we’re at?

Milton Friedman: That’s right.

John Hawkins: Do you think George Bush, with the economy being as it was, did the right thing by cutting taxes?

Milton Friedman: I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible. The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending. The question is, “How do you hold down government spending?” Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like. If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up. The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes.

John Hawkins: Now let me ask you about that. In the Reagan years, we cut taxes and it ended up leading to economic growth which increased the amount of revenue that came into the government.

Milton Friedman: Well, economic growth will inevitably increase the amount of revenue coming into the government. But so far as the Reagan years were concerned, we have to be careful there. There were initial cuts in 1981-1982 and then there was a very good income tax law in 1986. But in between that, there were increases in taxes as well. So it’s not an entirely clear picture that you can attribute the growth in revenue entirely to the tax reductions. But it’s a hard thing to disentangle the effects of several things happening at the same time. In particular, there’s no doubt that growth is very favorable to government revenue.

John Hawkins: Well let me ask you a related question about holding down the deficit. Really, I’m not seeing much political will on either side of the aisle to hold down costs. Do you think we should consider a Balanced Budget Amendment?

Milton Friedman: What we should consider and what has been considered is a Tax And Spending Limitation Amendment, an amendment to hold down total spending. I don’t think it needs to be in the form of a Balanced Budget Amendment, but that’s one form it can take.

John Hawkins: So would you favor for example a 3/5th’s majority to raise taxes like they suggested in the “Contract with America”?

Milton Friedman: Yes, but the example that comes to mind really is the Colorado Tax And Expenditure Limitation Amendment that requires the spending to increase no more from year to year than population and inflation. Also, it requires that any revenues in excess of spending have to be returned to the taxpayers.

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