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A Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

NETWORK strongly opposes proposed constitutional amendments that appear on the surface to require a balanced budget, but that would brutally limit the ability of our federal government to respond to crises. Reckless politicians are promoting draconian spending caps under the guise of a balanced budget requirement in order to avoid the difficult task of addressing America’s ineffective tax code.

Potential balanced budget amendments that are being proposed blatantly disregard the increasing healthcare costs that will accompany our aging population and eliminate the ability of leaders to protect the most vulnerable people. 

Extremists in Congress, ignoring the needs of our economy and the American people, are threatening to hold the upcoming debt limit vote hostage in order to force through this dangerous amendment. While having a balanced budget is a good goal, it is not a good idea to make it a constitutional requirement every year. We at NETWORK know that spending cuts alone cannot fix our federal deficit. Increases in revenue need to be a part of the plan to get our fiscal house in order.  

This year of contentious partisan political debate is a perfect example of how difficult it would be for Congress to gain the necessary votes to waive balanced budget requirements during a national crisis, even if our economy and people were depending on those votes to provide necessary safety nets and fiscal stimulus. The real agenda in this proposal is to gain political “tea party points” and undermine the social safety net in our country. This would hobble our capacity as a nation to provide for the common good.

NETWORK calls on our leaders to work together to support people and their families. By proposing this extreme change in the way our government functions, politicians are demonstrating that they are choosing to place their circle of protection around the richest Americans and corporate interests instead of around the safety and security of hardworking Americans.