Wednesday Opinion

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Feb. 7, 2018

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Opinion in Brief

Walter Williams: “Some people have called for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution as a means of reining in a big-spending Congress. That’s a misguided vision… The bottom line is the federal budget is always balanced in any real economic sense. For those enamored of a balanced budget amendment, think about the following. Would we have greater personal liberty under a balanced federal budget with Congress spending $4 trillion and taxing us $4 trillion, or would we be freer under an unbalanced federal budget with Congress spending $2 trillion and taxing us $1 trillion? I’d prefer the unbalanced budget. The true measure of government’s impact on our lives is government spending, not government taxing. Tax revenue is not our problem. The federal government has collected nearly 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product almost every year since 1960. Federal spending has exceeded 20 percent of the GDP for most of that period. Because federal spending is the problem, that’s where our focus should be. … The nation needs a constitutional amendment that limits congressional spending to a fixed fraction, say 20 percent, of the GDP.”

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