July 18, 2011
"Cut, Cap, and Balance" Means Leviathan State, Forever
By James Wilson

Which do you value more? ...smaller government or a balanced budget?

If we refuse to raise the debt ceiling, we get BOTH.

NEITHER party on Capitol Hill wants that, because a smaller State means less power for them.

That's why the Republicans have a scheme to extend the debt limit by $2.4 trillion, provided that Congress passes a Constitutional Amendment that . . .

* requires a balanced budget
* limits federal spending to 18% of GDP (that is, the Gross Domestic Product -- the overall size of the economy)

This 18% of GDP is only MARGINALLY smaller than what has been the traditional size of government in the post-World War II era, and much LARGER than what it was when citizens of our nation gave the world the telegraph, light bulb, and airplane.

A federal government the size of 18% of the economy is NOT what I signed on for when I became a small-government activist. 18% is too big... MUCH too big!

The only good thing about this is that Democrats will probably reject it, leading to a stalemate, which means the Debt Ceiling would stay where it is.

Leaving the debt limit where it is...

* would IMMEDIATELY balance the budget...
* would force deep spending cuts -- which means a Downsized DC...
* but, because there's still revenue coming it, it wouldn't force the feds to skip troop pay, Social Security, Medicare, or interest payments, unless...

 ...someone, like the President, wanted to play politics by cutting off their checks.

That's why I sent a letter to my Representative and Senators, telling them to oppose ANY increase in the debt ceiling.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .

I support a balanced budget. But I oppose the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" plan offered by Republicans because it raises the debt limit by $2.4 trillion. I also don't think I want it etched in Constitutional stone that the Federal State will be 18% of the national economy. That's too big.

In the post-WWII era, spending has generally hovered around 20% of GDP.

So, in essence, this amendment says that the Federal State should be ONLY 10% smaller than it has been during most of our lifetimes.

And given how the rest of the Constitution is followed, what so-called "unintended consequences" will follow the ratification of this amendment. Will...

* estimates of GDP will be manipulated by politicians in the executive and legislative branches?
* Congress would be motivated to spend UP to 18% of GDP, instead of being pressured to spend LESS?

I don't think a Balanced Budget Amendment should have a specific GDP percentage.

The 18% GDP cap may require minor spending cuts here and there, but it won't...

* Force the Pentagon to have a "Defense" budget as opposed to a "World Police" budget
* Compel fundamental reforms or phase-outs of unconstitutional programs like Medicare, which has made medical care MORE expensive, even for the elderly
* Leave most powers to the states or individuals, as the Ninth and Tenth Amendment requires

You can get a balanced budget IMMEDIATELY by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, thus requiring spending cuts across the board.

DON'T compromise. DON'T negotiate. Simply, DON'T raise the debt limit! Instead...

* Reform the tax code so that it's easier to do business in the USA
* Downsize the Pentagon
* Deregulate American industry
* De-criminalize voluntary behavior
* Transfer most of what you do to the states and the people

This will all make the people more prosperous and freer. DON'T raise the debt limit. Instead, cut spending and regulation!


You may send your letter using's Educate the Powerful System.

Do you think your friends are aware that the Republicans want to have Big Government enshrined in the Constitution with a Balanced Budget Amendment that fixes federal spending at a whopping 18% of GDP?

Please tell them! Share this on Facebook and Twitter.

James Wilson
Policy Research Director, Inc.

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