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Comments about ‘George F. Will: A better way to balance the budget’

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Published: Thursday, April 10 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Conceptually, I am good with a Balanced Budget Amendment.

As long as it also applies to the spending on Wars of Choice. Under this scenario, Iraq and Afghanistan would not have happened.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Honestly I don't put much faith in conspiracy theories and ideas that the political boogieman is behind every door. But the idea of a "limited" constitutional convention strikes me as laughable. Once convened, it can go anywhere those attending want. They can agree to stay limited beforehand but what they do once they get there is a different matter. Be careful!

Esquire
Springville, UT

There is a lot of analysis that a Constitutional Convention could in fact not be limited to any one particular issue. There is nothing that would prevent delegates from proposing anything at all. Good grief, a review of the history of the Articles of Confederation and the attempt to modify them which eventually led to the Constitutional Convention is itself compelling on this point. If you love the Constitution, a convention would put it in jeopardy.

On the issue of the budget, JoeBlow makes an excellent point. The military was used during the Bush years not for the benefit of the United States and our security, but for the benefit of private interests. We have paid a dear price for that. We the people were used.

Finally, economic theory matters. Despite the propaganda of the GOP, looking at the past 60+ years, they are the party of big spending and huge deficits. All you have to do is compare the Clinton era approach, where a modest tax increase led to balanced budgets and economic prosperity, immediately followed by Bush, who undid it all and the result was a severe recession and enormous deficits. There are the real time lab results.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I like what I'm reading here.

The Federal Government needs a wake-up-call. They need to realize that when they sign us up for more debt... they are signing up many States that don't want to accept that debt (Fiscal Conservative States). And they should not be cramming stuff like this down those State's throats without consulting them (or their representatives).

The Constitution clearly expected the Federal Government to consult the States before making big decisions like this (this concept was not only in the Federalist Papers).

I think this would be a good approach, and may get us back on the right track (as far a increasing national debt goes).

===

Debt is an awful task master. It's kind when you want the money you don't have... but I would not want to enslave my family to it. I would not want to enslave my nation to it.

We need to find a way to live within our means (as a nation, and as a union of individual States).

Most State's are not allowed (by their Constitution) to run a deficit... why does the Federal Government CONSTANTLY run in deficit mode?

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

So, the “conservative movement's brain [has a plan] to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution's Framers thought their document guaranteed.”

Actually what the Framers thought the US Constitution guaranteed was a central government much STRONGER than the one that preceded it under the Articles of Confederation, and that’s exactly what they gave us. But “Conservatives” insist on undercutting the Founder’s great legacy.

The Great Right Wing Hive Mind is proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment, that would be a disaster for the nation . . . A BBA replete with a whole bunch of tricky text that Republican Congressmen can hide behind as they serve their plutocratic masters.

Aside from enriching plutocrats at the expense of everyone else, the biggest problem is that a BBA strips the government of its ability to move quickly.

When an asteroid hits Provo, will FEMA have to wait for approval from southern Tea Party Congressmen before it can act?

Like most things “Conservative,” a BBA is a bad idea, although it will inevitably further enrich the rich at the expense of everyone else.

That’s the “Conservative solution” to everything.

E Sam
Provo, UT

So a few conservatives are all excited about an entirely impractical and unworkable solution to a non-existent problem. Since this is never going to happen, I put this in the category of 'fantasy daydreams.' Hey, I have a few of those myself.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

That's fine by me George,
BUT

2 problems with that...

1. Presidents who start stupid wars of agression on foreign nations based on lies, mis-truths, and phony baloney.

2. You will NEVER get it passed due to our Government officals being managed and controlled by bribery by Corporations -- and who are 100% dependant on Corporate Welfare.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . compare the Clinton era approach, where a modest tax increase led to balanced budgets and economic prosperity, immediately followed by Bush, who undid it all . . . ."

Are liberals are still peddling this thoroughly discredited historical newspeak? Every responsible historian agrees, Clinton's massive tax increase singlehandedly killed off the Reagan surge, leaving President Bush with a serious recession, that was only undone by -- cutting Clinton's unsustainable taxes.

Given such liberal perfidy, and the Obama regime's proven history of contempt for the Constitution and rule of law, most conservatives are extremely wary of giving liberals any opportunity to carve in stone the illegal mischief wrought over the Obama years. It's the reason we fear the calling of a convention.

The better approach is, of course, to defeat, once and for all, a weakened, desperate liberal mob. The philosophy underlying liberal lunacy has never attracted more than a tiny minority of American voters. It's only their cynical, unethical, tax-funded vote-buying that has sustained the liberal movement well past its dotage.

Election of conservatives representing real America, not machine politics, would dry up liberals' source of bribe money.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

procuradorfiscal,

Just to be clear, there are machine politics in both liberal and conservative circles (depends on the region). You get the same thing. Folks interested in getting reelected vs. doing their job. Each have their pet issues and projects. Each has no problem with bending the federal govt. to their will because, after all, they are right.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Just to be clear, there are machine politics in both liberal and conservative circles . . . ."

Au contraire. Machine politicians are, by definition, not conservative. While machine politics are certainly at work in both major parties, that doesn't prove conservatives embrace machine politics.

Real conservatives are interested in preserving, conserving the Constitution and American rule of law. To machine politicians, of any political stripe, such conservation is a matter of surpassing indifference.

They are, by definition, concerned with establishing a regime to win and exercise political power. That scoundrels dedicated to machine politics may call themselves conservative, does not make them so.

To illustrate, Carl Rove is no more conservative than James Carville. Each is professionally dedicated, not to living a particular political ideology, but with exploiting ideology to political advantage. That makes them both liberals.

While conservatives concern themselves with principle and ideas, liberals like the President and those of his regime, concentrate on means and methods of gaining and exercising political power.

Liberal purists may convince themselves they act for the greater good, but they're still concerned, not with preserving the Constitution, but with power.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

There's only 2 ways to balance the budget. That's either spend less... or take in more. or both.

HOW you do it doesn't matter... when all the political shouting is over... you have to do one or the other or both...

Any other way is just smoke and mirrors...

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey procuradorfiscal - Your recounting of history is from some parallel Universe . . . Right?

Because none of what you descibed happened in this one . . . Impressive verbosity though.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@procuradorfiscal – “While conservatives concern themselves with principle and ideas, liberals like the President and those of his regime, concentrate on means and methods of gaining and exercising political power.”

Wow!!

We’re drinking Kool Aid out of the fire hose today… no sippy cups here.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Procuradorfiscal,

You present a "No True Scotsman" argument.

The truth is many of the most staunch Tea Partiers would gladly have the support of such a machine (those who do not already) in order to keep them in power forever.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "The truth is many of the most staunch Tea Partiers . . . ."

There's your actual "no true Scotsman" argument.

The real truth is, most staunch Tea Partiers are pretty doggone hard to classify into a single group or ideology. Herding them is akin to herding cats. That's the primary reason Tea Partiers are the target of so many attacks by political hacks and machine politicians.

On all sides.

They just won't stay on the liberal plantation and passively do what those that consider themselves their political taskmasters tell them to do. And, you can't buy them off with a cynical, disingenuous promise of deranged, unsustainable mountains of taxpayer dollars being shoveled in their direction.

Unlike way, way too many Democrats and, sadly, even too many Republicans.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Procuardorfiscal,

I do not share your optimism that any class of politicians is immune from the lure of power.

cmsense
Kaysville, UT

Sounds good but I'm not sure the American people are ready for the reprecussions. (Cuts to defense spending, domestic programs or whatever political hue you are etc.) It all seems fine when we think about cuts to others political priorities until it hits one of ours. Heck, the Republicans and Democrats both whine about modest sequestration cuts already.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@procuradorfiscal
"While machine politics are certainly at work in both major parties, that doesn't prove conservatives embrace machine politics."

They're addicted to Koch.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

This is about the stupidest proposal I have ever seen come out of a think tank.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

Article VI of the Constitution says that debts from before the adoption of the Constitution will continue to be valid after the Constitution. That seems to say that national debt in our day is also valid under the constitution. However, I doubt that includes national debt that we have no intention or ability of ever repaying. I don't see anything in the Constitution that legalizes such thievery.

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