| US National Debt:
The purpose of this web-page is to answer three important questions that have been posed by state legislators who are deciding whether to support the call for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution to be proposed via an Article V Convention of the States. For additional FAQ on this subject, click HERE.
Question 1 – Will a balanced budget amendment require draconian spending cuts, tax increases or both in a short period of time?
Answer – No! The Balanced Budget Amendment Convention of states will carefully consider how to reach balanced budgets without requiring disruptive spending cuts or tax increases that could prevent ratification. One approach might be a constitutional “spending growth limit” that mandates Congress limit the annual growth in total federal spending to something like inflation plus population change. There would never be a need to “cut” total spending, only slow down its growth rate.
A growing economy would generate total revenue growth, that would, without a tax increase, exceed total spending in a few years. Budget surpluses to pay down the debt would become the norm with the exception of war or national emergency. The balanced budget limit could be constitutionally imposed after the “spending growth limit” started producing budget surpluses.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that such a “spending growth limit” could, in 75 years:
1. Pay off the national debt.
2. Quadruple real GDP per capita from $40,000 to $160,000 and
3. When the debt was fully retired, allow for a 30% across the board tax cut. (See “Roadmap” which limits discretionary spending growth to inflation plus 0.7%).
Question 2 – Once a Delegate leaves the state to attend an Article V Convention is there any way to stop them from initiating a “run-a-way” convention?
Answer – Yes! Delegates may be recalled, replaced, have their votes nullified, credentials revoked and extradited (See: Article IV Section 2, U.S. Constitution) back to the state to stand trial for attempting to initiate a “run-a-way” convention. Five states and counting (IN, FL, GA, TN & UT) have passed laws that make it a felony for a delegate to propose an amendment that is unrelated to the legislature’s Article V Application or its instructions.
Delegates will not have a vote in the convention only in their state delegation as the Amendment Convention will be one-state one-vote. It should be noted that states have safely controlled “delegates” from “running away” for centuries with recall, vote nullification and penalties for faithless presidential electors.
Question 3 – What if the states do nothing?
Answer – The U.S. will go bankrupt like Greece or print money like the Weimar Republic. The U.S. debt of $18 trillion dollars is 107% of GDP… a higher debt to GDP than Greece had in 2008 (105%). Since 2008 Greek citizens have endured a 25% reduction in GDP, an 80% decline in their stock market, 25% unemployment and 50% youth unemployment that has led to rioting. Under current law, the Congressional Budget Office projects trillion dollar plus deficits until we are …well Greece.
Greece and USA Total Debt to GDP
Final Thoughts – Our Nation’s problem of unsustainable deficit spending is systemic and cannot be fixed by sending a new team to Washington as evidenced by the fact that since 1930 the total federal debt has gone up EVERY year but 5 (1947-48, 1951, 1956-57.)
Click HERE To See The U.S. National Debt
Alexander Hamilton said in his closing arguments to ratify our Constitution, Article V could be used to
“erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.”
James Madison said Article V,
“equally enables the general and the state governments to originate the amendment of errors as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side or on the other.”
Only the states can pass on the American Dream by constitutionally changing the nation’s fiscal direction using our Founders’ Article V safety valve.
For additional FAQ on this subject, click HERE.