Balanced Budget Amendment/A Bill of State Rights
<section begin=Summary />
Total spending for any fiscal year shall not exceed total revenues for that fiscal year, unless two-thirds of Congress makes an exception. Total spending shall not exceed 18% GDP. Any tax or revenue increases shall require two-thirds approval of Congress. Increases of the federal debt ceiling require three-fifths approval of Congress. <section end=Summary />
<section begin=Motivation />
Financial ruin is a real possibility for the United States. At the end of 2015, U.S. Government debt was $18 Trillion, or about $60,000 for every man woman and infant in the United States. As of 2012, America owes more debt than it generates in wealth per year. But not everyone pays taxes. If you pay taxes, expect to pay—one way or another—$154,000 to the federal government over your lifetime, just for dept payments1. This figure does not include any taxes that go toward future government “services” that you may or may not want. Over the next generation, the projected price tag for these “services” is over $100 Trillion dollars ‘’’more’’’ than anticipated tax revenues.2
Something has to change, as the current rate of debt increase is unsustainable. Who is going to force this change on whom? The people upon the politicians, or the politicians upon the people? A cap on spending is a minimum required to address U.S. budget issues, and as politicians are incapable of demonstrating spending restraint, a balanced budget amendment is our only recourse for responsibly, with fairness and foresight, dealing with any financial crisis in our future. (Read more...)
<section end=Motivation />
<section begin=Fulltext />
Full Amendment Text
“ Section 1. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless two-thirds of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific excess of outlays over receipts by a roll call vote.
“ Section 2. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed 18 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States for the calendar year ending before the beginning of such fiscal year, unless two-thirds of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific amount in excess of such 18 percent by a roll call vote.
“ Section 3. Prior to each fiscal year, the President shall transmit to the Congress a proposed budget for the United States Government for that fiscal year in which—
- “(1) total outlays do not exceed total receipts; and
- “(2) total outlays do not exceed 18 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States for the calendar year ending before the beginning of such fiscal year.
“ Section 4. Any bill that imposes a new tax or increases the statutory rate of any tax or the aggregate amount of revenue may pass only by a two-thirds majority of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress by a roll call vote. For the purpose of determining any increase in revenue under this section, there shall be excluded any increase resulting from the lowering of the statutory rate of any tax.
“ Section 5. The limit on the debt of the United States shall not be increased, unless three-fifths of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress shall provide for such an increase by a roll call vote.
“ Section 6. The Congress may waive the provisions of sections 1, 2, 3, and 5 of this article for any fiscal year in which a declaration of war against a nation-state is in effect and in which a majority of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress shall provide for a specific excess by a roll call vote.
“ Section 7. The Congress may waive the provisions of sections 1, 2, 3, and 5 of this article in any fiscal year in which the United States is engaged in a military conflict that causes an imminent and serious military threat to national security and is so declared by three-fifths of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress by a roll call vote. Such suspension must identify and be limited to the specific excess of outlays for that fiscal year made necessary by the identified military conflict.
“ Section 8. No court of the United States or of any State shall order any increase in revenue to enforce this article.
“ Section 9. Total receipts shall include all receipts of the United States Government except those derived from borrowing. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States Government except those for repayment of debt principal.
“ Section 10. The Congress shall have power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation, which may rely on estimates of outlays, receipts, and gross domestic product.
“ Section 11. This article shall take effect beginning with the fifth fiscal year beginning after its ratification.”
<section end=Fulltext />
<section begin=History />
- History of the Balanced Budget Amendment in the United States
- As of 2015, 27 states (of 34 required) have passed resolutions calling for a convention to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment
- Many organizations, activists, and politicians have supported a Balanced Budget Amendment for many years. This section requires additional work.
<section end=History />
In 2015, Rep. Buchanan, Vern [R-FL-16] introduced this Constitutional Amendment for a balanced budget in the U.S. House of Representatives. 3
This page was introduced and is being maintained by: A Bill of State Rights.