ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Politics: Budget Proposal Unbalanced

Updated on December 20, 2017
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU in 1964. Worked in NYC for 2 years in public relations then as reporter and editor before retiring from The Hour newspaper.

Founding fathers pictured on poster are Patrick Henry, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
Founding fathers pictured on poster are Patrick Henry, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

The Scales of Justice

A balanced budget amendment is a bad idea, and most legislators know it.

There's only one reason any legislator would vote for a balanced budget amendment -- politics!

Any legislator who would cast a ballot that endangers the heart and soul of our republic is, at best, unwise.

Budget problems abound, but a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget is not the answer. Our legislators already have the power to balance the budget if they believe it to be in the best interests of the country.

The founders of our country knew our Constitution would have to provide for a representative democracy if our noble experiment were to succeed -- even though the nation's population in those days was relatively small.

Imperfect Democracy

Despite their belief in individual freedom, and an abiding determination to be free of the tyrannies of the past, those great men framed a representative government. They were well aware it would not be possible to have a perfect democracy in which citizens cast votes for themselves on every issue.

Today, our representatives often come under heavy attack for their votes on a wide variety of issues, but the truth is, we simply can't get along without them (although sometimes we wish we could.)

With our country's population now at (about 265) million, it's simplistic to think we can be governed in any other way.

Bitter Politics on the Rise

Increasingly bitter politics has made the job of elected officials less enviable than at any time in the past, and if we are to encourage our best and brightest to run for office we need to be more respectful of those offices, even when we hold individual incumbents in less than high esteem.

Who would want to sacrifice his time and, perhaps, money to seek a legislative seat only to make decisions on minor issues? What kind of man or woman would run for a position that doesn't offer significant input on budgets?

Why tie the hands of legislators on the most important aspect of their job: deciding what programs are needed and how much funding we can afford for each?

Let Pollsters Decide?

These decisions have a bearing on the economy as well. If we're going to restrict our representatives' budget powers and, perhaps, limit their terms of office, we might as well throw out the Constitution and disband both houses of congress; let a pollster decide how we spend our money!

If we hope to have the kind of government we deserve, the president and the congress must preserve the flexibility to make decisions they believe to be essential for national security, not only militarily, but also economically and socially.

Any representative worth his salt votes for what he believes is best in the long run for his constituents; trying to put our two cents in on issues few of us know much about only aggravates an already touchy situation.

Let's hope our congressmen think this issue through clearly and vote down any effort to force through a balanced budget amendment. And, if it should pass, let's hope the states have enough wisdom to let the issue die a natural death.

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Feb. 5, 1997. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages.

Should Federal Law Require That Every Budget Be Balanced?

See results

San Francisco Job Cuts -- Efforts to Balance the Budget

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thank you, Patty Inglish.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Still a first rate Hub after three years or more!

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 

      10 years ago from London UK

      i hope so..

      thanks.

    • profile image

      Bob 

      10 years ago

      Bill ... I think I could vote for Linda

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks, compu-smart. Let's hope the changes are for the good, and let's hope you are around for the good news. There's alway hope.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 

      10 years ago from London UK

      Lindas comments are spot on me thinks! and it's a shame i won't be arond when the real changes for the good happen and ill be glad i wont be around if the changes get too bad!!

      Great article. William.

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I agree, Linda, that our legislators are generally disappointing. But unless computer technology gets a whole lot more sophisticated than it is, we will have to live with "representative democracy." No one could foresee the mess we're in, but we can't give up on democracy -- where would we go?

    • profile image

      Linda 

      10 years ago

      Me thinks thy givest the fools in goverment too much credit. I don't trust a one of them - They've moved into a plushy life and forgot us common people.

      They vote for their own interests first.

      I don't think "The founders of our country" forsaw how things would change in a couple of hundred years.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)