Do we need a balanced budget amendment as the only way to end deficit spending? Based on the last 32 years of evidence, the only answer seems to be yes.
Every successive administration has plans to lower the deficit and balance the budget, but they never do, as it would involve inflicting pain, severe pain onto the general public. For any politician in recent times that is trying to get elected, they will rarely, if ever, ask the general public to sacrifice. Balancing the budget sounds good, and cutting spending also sounds good. However, once the politicians would actually cut spending programs such as defense, social security, medicare, medicaid, unemployment and others, in the magnitude that they would have to be cut, the public would mount fierce protests.
Unbalanced budgets are rarely discussed by any current administration. As a result, the public rarely discusses it themselves.
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If asked in a poll, a very high percentage of respondents would be in favor of cutting spending. However, once the questions become more specific, such as cutting Medicare, then Medicare recipients will say, “keep your hands off my Medicare”. Workers employed at companies involved in national defense will be staunchly against cuts in Pentagon programs that involve what they are working on.
This is just the spending side. If it is combined with increases in Government revenues, it will be doubly as unpopular.
No, a balanced budget is the only way to kill deficits. The politicians won’t do it. With such an amendment, politicians can simply point to the law as they look to shield themselves from blame. This, is the only way this will work.
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