Columbia, SC – What would happen to your family if you took home $4000 each month but spent $5600? It wouldn’t take long before you reached your credit limit and rising interest payments on your debt would make it difficult for you to pay your bills. You could easily risk declaring bankruptcy.
That is the scenario playing out with our federal government right now. Our national debt is around $18.1 trillion and growing. America is paying more than $400 billion in interest on our debt and our interest payments would almost double if interest rates were at traditional levels.
During fiscal year which ends on Sept. 30, we are projected to bring in $3.3 trillion in federal tax revenue while spending $3.9 trillion. Even though Republicans have taken over both houses of Congress, there is no plan in place to balance the federal budget and stop racking up more debt.
But don’t despair – our Founding Fathers gave us a tool to deal with this crisis and the solution rests with the states! Article V of our Constitution gives us two ways to propose amendments. Most people are familiar with amendments being proposed by a two-thirds vote in the House (at least 291 members) and Senate (at least 67 members) and being sent to the states for ratification. Article V also allows two-thirds of the states (34) to propose amendments.
President Ronald Regan was disillusioned by the failure of Congress each year to present him a balanced budget and asked the states to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment. At the end of his second term, there were 32 states which passed Balance Budget Amendment resolutions, two short of the number needed to present the amendment for ratification, which requires approval from three-fourths of the states (38).
With our rapidly growing national debt, the call for a state-driven Balanced Budget Amendment has been revived. A group called the Balanced Budget Task Force (www.bba4usa.org) is leading the charge to get State Legislatures to adopt the Balanced Budget Amendment resolution.
National figures such as talkshow host and former Presidential candidate Herman Cain, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rand Paul are leading the charge for states to adopt the Balanced Budget Amendment resolution. Cain visited the USS Yorktown in 2014 to promote the plan and Gov. Kasich recently met with leaders in the South Carolina House and Senate.
To date, 26 states have adopted the Balanced Budget Amendment Resolution, including North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. The South Carolina resolution is sponsored by Rep. Peter McCoy (R-James Island) in the House (bill H-3096) and Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Daniel Island) in the Senate (S-30). The resolution is being heard in the Judiciary Committee in both chambers.
This is bi-partisan legislation which passed unanimously in chambers in Tennessee and Louisiana last year. Polling in 10 South Carolina House and Senate districts shows approval ranging from 74-95 percentage for passing the Balanced Budget Amendment resolution.
If you agree that America’s massive debt is a burden to future prosperity, please contact your State Representative and State Senator and ask for their support. You can find their contact information by going to www.SCStatehouse.gov and clicking on Locate Your Legislators. Concerned citizens and our State Legislatures can save the day!.
John Steinberger is the chairman of the Charleston County Republican Party, a leading Fair Tax advocate, and a West Ashley resident. He can be reached at John.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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