Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Buchanan: It's time for a balanced budget amendment to Constitution

 A member of the majority party for the first time in his congressional career, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan has proposed a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced federal budget.

It is the first piece of legislation Buchanan filed during the 112th Congress, which took office Wednesday.

“Wasteful spending is threatening our future and will unfairly burden our children and grandchildren with debt that is not their own,” Buchanan said in a statement. “A constitutional amendment will force Congress to make the tough choices necessary to balance the budget for taxpayers today and for future generations.”

Buchanan said the 111th Congress added more to the national debt than the first 100 Congresses combined.

“We don’t have a revenue problem,” said Buchanan, R-Sarasota, the only member from Florida on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. “We have a spending problem. Each year, billions of taxpayer dollars are spent on waste, fraud, and abuse. A balanced budget amendment would force lawmakers to take a hard look at the programs they are funding and hold federal agencies accountable.”

Buchanan said his bill would balance the budget by 2016 by requiring:
  • A 3/5 vote for any increases in the debt.
  • That the President submit a balanced budget to Congress. 
  • That any legislation to increase revenue must be passed by a true majority of each chamber – not just a majority of those present and voting.
Exceptions to these provisions are provided in times of military conflicts and natural disasters.

"Forty-nine out of 50 states, including Florida, have balanced budget requirements," Buchanan said. "Cities, counties, and states all routinely balance their budgets and so should the federal government. A balanced budget amendment is a common sense measure that will save taxpayer dollars and help ensure financial security of our kids and our kid’s kids.”

1 comment:

  1. That Florida has a balanced budget is a distortion of the truth. The State of Florida debt increased from $18 B to $28.2 B from the period 2000 to 2010. Florida's annual debt service for existing net tax-supported debt is approximately $2.1 B per year. Debt service increased 75% from $1.2 B in 2000 to $2.1 B in 2010.