Draft “Let Us Vote for a Balanced Budget Amendment” Resolution

Summary

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that if the federal government continues under current law adjusted for common exceptions such as natural disasters, the interest on America’s debt alone would approximate 50 percent of tax revenue in 20 years, 100 percent of taxes in 40 years and 150 percent in 60 years.  In 2010 former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen identified the national debt as “the most significant threat to our national security” and that was when the national debt was a modest $13 trillion. The national debt has increased every year since 1957 and now exceeds $21 trillion during a time of robust economic growth limiting measures that the federal government can take when the economy inevitably slows. This model policy urges Congress to call an Article V Balanced Budget Amendment Convention of states and stipulate that any proposed amendment would require ratification by 38 State Conventions, effectively a vote of the people.

Draft “Let Us Vote for a Balanced Budget Amendment” Resolution

WHEREAS, since 1957 this nation has become more deeply in debt as its expenditures grossly and repeatedly exceed available revenues so that the national debt now exceeds $21 trillion and is rising exponentially; and

WHEREAS, interest on the federal debt is projected to top $1 trillion for the first time in history by 2022; and

WHEREAS, 83 percent of 8,167 recently polled registered voters spanning the political spectrum agreed that a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) should be approved by a “vote of the people” not a vote of Congress and 45 percent of them indicated they would only vote for a state or federal candidate who supported their right to vote for a BBA; and

WHEREAS, the unsustainable deficit spending is the greatest threat to our national security, Social Security and the American Dream, we firmly believe that a state-drafted voter-ratified Balanced Budget Amendment is necessary to prevent what Erskine Bowles repeatedly warns is, “the most predictable economic crisis in history”; and

WHEREAS, under Article V of the Constitution of the United States, “on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states the Congress shall call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments” and “shall be Part of this Constitution when ratified… by Conventions in three-fourths” of the states;

Now, therefore, be it RESOLVED that the legislature of [INSERT STATE] urges the U.S. Congress to call an Article V Convention for proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) and related fiscal limits. This call will be issued on the counting of 34 Article V Applications from among the more than 700 Applications already submitted by state legislatures.

Be it further RESOLVED that the U.S. Congress shall stipulate that the State Convention Mode of Ratification shall be used if a BBA is proposed by the Article V Convention. (Note: Ratification of the 21st Amendment by State Conventions was effectively a vote of the people in three-quarters of the states.)

Be it further RESOLVED that the U.S. Congress shall declare as null and void any proposed amendment that is unrelated to balancing the federal budget and shall refuse to forward any such unauthorized amendment to the states for ratification.