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Dear Senator Pryor, why not pass the Balanced Budget Amendment? (Part 15 Thirsty Thursday, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

Dear Senator Pryor, why not pass the Balanced Budget Amendment? (Part 15 Thirsty Thursday, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

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 www.HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com 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.

Burton Opposes Sham Deficit Reduction Deal

Posted by Joshua Gillespie on August 1, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        CONTACT: Joshua Gillespie
August 1, 2011                                                                                                      (202)225-2276

Burton Opposes Sham Deficit Reduction Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Dan Burton (R-IN-05) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives’ approved the deficit reduction deal negotiated with President Obama and Senate Democrats:

“Our nation has never defaulted in its history and we must take action to continue to meet our financial obligations.  However, in good conscience I could not support the deficit reduction package worked out this past weekend.  I have said repeatedly that Washington does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem and this bill does nothing to change the spending culture ingrained in Washington. 

“First, A Balanced Budget Amendment is the ONLY way to finally force Washington to live within its means.  However, unlike the Cut, Cap and Balance Act or the Boehner proposal passed by the House of Representatives, the deficit reduction deal does not require a Balanced Budget Amendment be sent to the States for ratification before the President is granted a debt ceiling increase; it merely requires a vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment.  Passing a Balanced Budget Amendment requires a 2/3rds vote in the House and Senate and a majority of Democrats have already expressed opposition to a Balanced Budget Amendment, so obtaining the necessary votes without significant leverage – such as the threat of default – is highly unlikely;

“Second, the deficit reduction deal does not prevent future tax increases or reduce the size of government.   In fact, the deficit reduction deal assumes that all the Bush tax cuts expire in December 2012.  In other words the additional revenue is already built into the bill which would make it difficult if not impossible to meet the deficit reduction targets AND extend the Bush tax cuts beyond 2012.  In addition, the suggestion that it is impossible for the Joint Committee to raise additional tax revenue simply is not accurate, it’s false;

“Third, the automatic spending cuts placed in the deal to force Congress to maintain fiscal discipline are unrealistic and unworkable.  Half of the proposed automatic cuts would come from defense programs which will undermine our ability to project power, strengthen our adversaries, and weaken our alliances.  Additional automatic cuts will come from Medicare providers; already underpaid by Medicare.  Historically Congress has rolled back any proposed cuts to Medicare providers and there is no reason to believe Congress won’t do so again.  It is also unrealistic to believe Congress will allow substantial cuts to defense spending while our troops are engaged in three wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya);

“Finally, the deficit reduction deal may be unconstitutional.  The deficit reduction deal allows the President to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling subject to a resolution of disapproval by the Congress (which the President can veto).  The debt limit is a statutory requirement and must therefore be changed by law.   ONLY Congress has the power to make law not the President; and Congress cannot, and most importantly should not, surrender this power to the president.

“The American people want a solution to this crisis, not a deal that allows Washington to kick the can down the road once again. Regrettably, the deficit reduction deal is not that solution.”