What we think: Balancing the budget needs no amendment

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Yes, the federal budget should be balanced, but that's not a matter for a Constitutional amendment. That's basically a bailout.

We think it’s a really good idea that our government operates each year with a balanced budget. And we couldn’t agree more with our leaders who suggest that.

But, those points made, the requirement to balance the federal budget is not, as some lawmakers are suggesting, a Constitutional issue.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was in Frankfort recently touting the idea of going through the laborious and – yes – costly process of amending the U.S. Constitution, perhaps requiring a constitutional convention, to impel lawmakers to do their jobs.

We think this is a supreme waste of time and an attempt to create another legal club that our leaders can hold over one another’s heads when it comes time to make the responsible budget decisions they find so difficult.

Using a club at times may seem like a good idea, but balancing the budget – by any governmental body – is a legislative and management problem that our leaders have foisted upon themselves, and now they need the “out” of having you ratify their responsibility.

Congress has been big on providing bailouts to industry, and so pardon us if this seems that our legislative leaders want a bailout for themselves.

Isn’t fiscal responsibility why we elect representatives in the first place?
Isn’t taxation without representation, a hallmark of the American Revolution, de facto being responsible for our own financial fate?

Don’t we have congressional districts to allow each area to have its own voice in approving how the government collects and spends its money?
Don’t we expect that revenue – i.e. our hard-earned cash payments – won’t be spent at a greater rate than it is received?
It’s basic finance 101 as taught in American high schools and drilled into most of us during our formative years.

You made $10 in allowance, and that’s all you had to spend.

If we wanted to go to the movies, to buy a new shirt, to give gifts on holidays, then we saved from that $10 and spent appropriately. Again, this was an elementary lesson.

But somehow that logic seems to have been lost on some of those children who grew up to become politically swung pendulums and puppets who too often chose to spend our money the way someone else was telling them, not as we suggested and not with their eyes on pluses and minuses.

The bottom line of this situation is all very simple: Tax everyone the same rate, reduce the cost of collecting that revenue, and then spend what you have to help the most people accomplish the most in life.

That’s the way our Founding Fathers intended, and when they wrote the Constitution, they didn’t think their descendants would be so myopic that they needed to spell out in an article or amendment a prohibition against spending more than the country had earned.

We don’t need a Constitutional amendment to require this process. In fact, we already have one: It’s called Election Day.

All we really need is astute leaders who do their fiduciary and moral duty.

No, Congress, there should be no bailout for you.