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Comments about ‘One way to bind the spenders is a constitutional amendment’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 7 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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John20000
Cedar Hills, UT

My balanced budget amendment would read something like this "Don't spend money you don't have and pay off your debts."

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

"Conservatives intentionally destroyed the remnants of the implicit balanced budget constraint in the 1970s so they could cut taxes without having to cut spending at the same time....they concocted a theory, “starve the beast,” to maintain a fig leaf of fiscal responsibility.

Under this theory, deficits are intentionally created by tax cuts, which puts political pressure on Congress to cut spending. Thus, cutting taxes without cutting spending became the epitome of conservative fiscal policy. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

We gave starve-the-beast theory a test during the Reagan administration, but, when push came to shove, Reagan was always willing to raise taxes rather than allow deficits to get out of control.

We gave starve-the-beast theory another test during the H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. They both raised taxes and, according to the theory, this should have caused spending to rise, because tax increases feed the beast. But they didn’t. Spending as a share of GDP fell to 18.2% in 2000 from 22.3% in 1991, according to the CBO.

Another test happened during the Bush administration. Taxes were slashed, but spending rose again."
(Bruce Bartlett)

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

"Conservatives intentionally destroyed the remnants of the implicit balanced budget constraint in the 1970s so they could cut taxes without having to cut spending at the same time....they concocted a theory, “starve the beast,” to maintain a fig leaf of fiscal responsibility.

Under this theory, deficits are intentionally created by tax cuts, which puts political pressure on Congress to cut spending. Thus, cutting taxes without cutting spending became the epitome of conservative fiscal policy. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

We gave starve-the-beast theory a test during the Reagan administration, but, when push came to shove, Reagan was always willing to raise taxes rather than allow deficits to get out of control.

We gave starve-the-beast theory another test during the H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. They both raised taxes and, according to the theory, this should have caused spending to rise, because tax increases feed the beast. But they didn’t. Spending as a share of GDP fell to 18.2% in 2000 from 22.3% in 1991, according to the CBO.

Another test happened during the Bush administration. Taxes were slashed, but spending rose again."
(Bruce Bartlett)

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