The Lee-Cornyn-Hatch Balanced Budget Amendment
No Comprises, Not One
Ever heard of the "Cut, Cap and Balance" pledge? It goes like this. Cut spending substantially, cap the spending and balance the budget. The majority of Americans seem to favor the concept. If you take a close look at it, many of us run our households in that manner and as the economy continues to tank, many more will join us in that boat. To do otherwise will usually result in our ending up where? In bankruptcy court, if you haven't already been there.
Pledges are nice as pledges go. You violate a pledge as a politician and it seems to be no big deal. The same seems to go with making promises that one knows one will never be able to keep. Much of that is no more than political theater and partisan gamesmanship. The balanced budget part of the equation is contained S.J. Resolution 10 and H.J Resolution 56. Those resolutions are centered around the Lee-Coryn-Hatch balanced budget amendment.
The pledge asks us to contact our Senators and Congressman and demand their support of the "cut, cap and balance" proposal before any agreement to raise the debt ceiling is considered. It asks our elected representatives to adhere to such a pledge. I have done that more than once and will continue to do it as often as necessary. But the problem is the "teeth" so to speak. I would rather it be an oath. Oaths seem to be a bit stronger than pledges, a bit more solemn and somber. .
All the deal making needs to stop. That's what got us into this fiscal mess in the first place. All the grandstanding and political posturing needs to come to a screeching halt. One article I read geared these demands to the Republican Party. I'm furthering that demand to the Democratic Party too. I have the leisure of being a registered Independent so I'm getting sick of watching it as our nation moves closer and closer to economic ruin - all in the name of playing political games that have been played for too long with the same result over and over again. It's at our expense - all of us - no matter what you think. If you live in this country you will feel the economic devastation. You better wake up and start understanding that.
Any time a pledge is broken, or a campaign promise is violated, it has become a matter of shaking one's head, clucking of the tongues and the "I'm sorry about that" syndrome setting in. That's what politics in our nation have evolved into. Shrugging their shoulders, moving on and keep doing the same damned things expecting a different result. This country is in a fiscal mess. Who cares who is responsible for it? Start fixing the problems that have created it, before it's too late.
I reckon they could just raise the debt ceiling without doing anything about addressing the causes that have us in the hole $14.3 trillion and counting. That's the way they've always done business in the past - pull out another blank check at the tax payer's expense. Our credit standing with the world is sitting on the cliff looking over. One good push like that, one more time, and we've been forewarned about the result of doing so. Business as usual in our nation's Capitol needs to change to a different business model and quickly.
There does indeed come a time when you have to either put up or shut up. It's now here. I've already told my elected representatives that if they agree to raise the debt ceiling without instituting the measures of the Lee-Coryn-Hatch amendment that we will be quits. I go further though with them. I have told all of them that I will do everything in my power and within my resources to insure that whenever they seek reelection, be it in 2012, 2014 or 2016 I will be on their case like stink is on doo-doo. I don't dance around it or mince words about it and neither should anyone who is paying for this nonsense.
Fiscal conservatives, regardless of party, need to draw the line in the sand on this critical issue. We can't keep spending more money than is available to run an out of control federal bureaucracy. And the answer isn't to just raise taxes because you'll kill economic growth deader than a door nail if you do that. You can't raise taxes on ANYONE high enough to solve the problem. Any economist worth their salt will tell you that is a fact.
If any elected official, regardless of party, votes to raise the debt ceiling without making the necessary spending cuts they need to be trounced on in the upcoming primaries. You need to let your elected officials know in no uncertain terms that you are going to be one of the ones doing the trouncing. You see that is what they are most afraid of - not getting reelected. I find that rather abhorrent but also know that to be a fact. What we have is a pack of career, professionalism pickpockets on Capitol Hill making $174K plus perks for a part time job. Their actions, COLLECTIVELY, have brought us to this point. Notice the highlighted word there?
We've been held hostage long enough. It's time for us to take some hostages. Our hostages have to be those who are living the comfortable life. They now have to be held accountable for this mess, and instead of doing nothing, start doing what is necessary to fix the problems they have themselves created. If they refuse to participate they need to go. It's up to you as a citizen and tax payer to demand and petition them. Use your Constitutional right to demand the redress of your grievances. I've heard people say, "It doesn't do any good." My response is, and always will be, "You are absolutely right. It won't do a bit of good if you don't do it."
"Cut, cap and balance" using the Lee-Coryn-Hatch amendment BEFORE every raising the debt ceiling one skinny penny or they need to be removed from those plush, comfortable chambers they think are theirs. Those chambers, my fellow Americans, belong to the American tax payer. They should be nothing but our janitors and it's time to grab the mop, the right end of the mop and begin the task that needs to be done.
I'm known to use graphics to lighten the mood but honestly I am not in a light mood concerning something as critical as what this nation now faces. Pick up a pen, hit their e-mail and fax machines, use the phone or the Pony Express but get it through their thick heads, all of them, that enough is enough. I don't want a pledge from anyone. I want an "oath" because breaking an oath is a serious matter, to me anyway.
The Frog Prince
This is from a speech Obama made in 2006
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.
Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.
And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.
Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities.
Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006