July 5, 2011
Do You Want a Theoretical Balanced Budget Many Years from Now, or a Real One Today?
By John Markley

Earlier this year, supported a plan to increase the debt ceiling ONLY IF Congress passed a balanced budget amendment. Many in Congress now agree, however...

We now realize this was a mistake!

By simply refusing an increase the debt ceiling, we could have a balanced budget THIS YEAR.

That's much easier and more immediate. So I sent the following letter to my Representatives and Senators telling them to oppose any raise in the debt ceiling.

You may borrow from or copy this letter...

There are well-intentioned plans to combine an increase in the debt ceiling with a Balanced Budget Amendment. But an amendment that requires super-majorities to increase the debt or raise taxes should NOT be part of a debt ceiling agreement this summer.

* The state ratification process will take years, during which Congress could rack up trillions more in debt
* There is no guarantee that this amendment will ever be ratified, which means business as usual in Congress

Why raise the debt ceiling this year, in the hopes that the budget will be balanced several years from now?

Why not, instead, oppose ANY increase in the debt limit? We could have a balanced budget THIS YEAR.

Also, while the Balanced Budget Amendment sounds like a good idea on the surface, further reflection raises some concerns...

* Senator Mike Lee's Amendment would cap federal spending at 18% of GDP
* While this is better than the current 23% level of spending, it is still FAR more than necessary to fulfill Congress's constitutional powers
* It's also more than current federal tax revenues, which are about 14% of GDP

And do we really want to enshrine, in the Constitution, 18% of GDP as the permanent size of the federal state?

I prefer that we use the Tenth Amendment as our measure. That amendment was clear: The powers delegated to Congress are limited. They are "enumerated" -- meaning, we can (quite literally) count them. Most of what Congress presently does is NOT enumerated, and strictly speaking, that means most of the spending is unconstitutional. 

Congress shouldn't be doing so much, and spending so much. Sooner or later, some elected officeholders must do the right thing. Let's not put this problem off. Capping the debt is an opportunity! You could...

* End the wars, bring the troops home, and end foreign aid
* Make the Pentagon auditable and more strategically focused on defense
* Get rid of the COUNTLESS unconstitutional federal departments and agencies - from the Department of Education to the DEA
* End corporate welfare and close the Department of Commerce
* And begin real reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

But whatever you do, oppose any increase in the debt limit. Balance the budget NOW with real spending cuts.


You can send your letter via's Educate the Powerful System.

How many of your friends, family, and other associates know that the Republicans want to make 18% of GDP the Constitutional size of government?

And if you don't share this Dispatch with them, how will they learn? How can they join you in action? Please forward this Dispatch to those you know and love.

Also, we told you, two weeks ago, that we needed to give an extra push to our fundraising efforts. At that point, we needed to raise $26,967 by the end of July. Last Monday, we reported that DC Downsizers, perhaps even you, helped us reduce the need down to a modest $21,494. I'm pleased to report even more progress...

We now need just $16,431. We are right on pace, and someone reading this message could send us the funds to cover the entire amount. Maybe you are that person?

But, until someone does that... 

We can't let up. Right now is the ideal time to start a monthly pledge. And I want to make it difficult for you to say "No," because...

You can start a credit card pledge with $1 or $2. We have dozens of persons who pledge much more than that, even $50 and $100 per month. You know what you can do, but virtually everyone can do something.

And that's the goal: Everyone doing something. We'd have a true grassroots movement. With an average $1 per Downsizer-Dispatch subscriber, per month, the Downsize DC budget would expand by more than 35%! We'd spend those funds to grow even faster, so that we'd be so big, Congress couldn't afford to ignore you.

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You are the Downsize DC Army. Thanks for taking action, recruiting others, and providing support.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

Filed under Wealth & Poverty
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