Grassroots Commentary

For a BBA, Still

By Trey Mays · Feb. 18, 2013

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the newly elected minority whip, recently introduced another balanced budget amendment (BBA) with all of his Senate Republican colleagues co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation. Their BBA would require an annual balanced budget, require a two-thirds supermajority to increase taxes, and it would cap federal spending at 18 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), except in limited emergencies.

Families, businesses, and even 49 States have to balance their budgets and work to live or operate within their means. When families, businesses, and 49 States have to do it, why does the establishment seem always to claim that a BBA requiring the federal government do what everyone else has to do to be a dubious task? The establishment, of both parties, seems to argue that a BBA couldn’t pass and if it did, that it would never work (even though 49 states requiring their state governments balance their budgets seems to work).

When Republicans only control the House of Representatives and the Democrats control both the Senate and the White House, and even though state control leans Republican, its split between Republicans and Democrats enough that the states would probably never ratify a BBA at this moment in time. Therefore, the establishment might be politically right that a BBA couldn’t politically pass. However, leaders don’t propose policies that can politically pass, they propose solutions that will solve the right problems, and then they go out and inspire people to support their solutions. Senate Republicans are somewhat showing that they have the leadership qualities to propose real solutions to America’s budget problems. The key now is for them to communicate their budget solution to the American people, and to inspire the people to put the heat on their state lawmakers, US Senators, and US Congressmen to pass a BBA.

Liberal-Progressives have always used the Constitutional authorities in the amendment process to impose their Leftist agenda and to undermine the Originalist meaning of our Constitution. It is high time for us Originalist, Constitutional Conservatives to propose real solutions. At times, real solutions should be enshrined in our Constitution as an amendment to ensure that our federal government stays true to its Founding principles. Enshrining the nation’s Founding principles into its Founding document, the Constitution, would only strengthen its Original meaning.

The passage of a BBA inviting judicial tyranny into the nation’s budget process is hyperbole. Anyone who suggests or assumes that a BBA is a threat to our separation of powers is inventing up reasons to be against a BBA because they have no other arguments. News flash, in all honesty, any law can invite judicial oligarchy and judicial tyranny if the People and the People’s Representatives let it. ObamaCare and Roe v. Wade are perfect examples of the judiciary creeping its way into the lawmaking business of our government. I believe a BBA actually preserves the principles of limited, republican government.

The establishment claims that politicians will abuse such a Constitutional amendment (as if they care). They say because politicians already abuse the meaning of the Constitution and the laws of Congress, their solution is just not to deal with it and supposedly don’t give them more opportunities to abuse it even more. Let us go even further, stop offering up real solutions to America’s problems all together, and let our nation destroy itself. No. The real solution is an informed citizenry electing quality men and women to serve with integrity; people who will not let power corrupt them. If spending increases power, then a BBA limiting spending is a solution that limits power and preserves our separation of powers in American government.

The establishment tries to put fear in the Conservative Movement by making it sound like a BBA will keep us from achieving Conservative policies and ideas. As if, we need an activist government to implement Conservative priorities, which sounds a lot like Compassionate Conservatism to me. A less activist government is a Conservative priority and requiring the government to spend taxpayer money within its means moves America toward a less activist government. What about on tax policy, the establishment claims a BBA keeps Conservatives from achieving lower taxes? Well, it actually helps Conservatives achieve lower taxes and makes it harder for Liberals to raise taxes. A BBA only requires a supermajority to raise taxes, not to lower them. I believe it’s actually easier for Conservatives to achieve Conservative priorities when the federal government is limited in how it spends taxpayer money.

Conservative politicians should continue to propose real solutions regardless of what the establishment tries to argue. While Conservative leaders are proposing real solutions, we should being working to build the support among the American people and the States to support real solutions (even Constitutional solutions like a BBA). In the process of building the support, Conservative politicians should use the appropriations tools that they currently have to enact real spending reforms and work to restructure entitlement programs. Conservatives should continue to find ways to build support for the Founding principles and real solutions, so that we not only enshrine the Founding principles in ordinary laws, but also in our Constitution.

Trey Mays is an independent Conservative political commentator. Follow him on Twitter @TreyMays and Like him on Facebook @TreyMaysUSA.