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May 26, 2011

NEW CAMPAIGN: Why A Debt Ceiling Is Better Than A Balanced Budget Amendment

Quote of the Day: “I have always believed that government had a limited capacity to do good and a virtually infinite capacity to do harm…” — Neil Hamilton, Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom (Source: House of Commons debates, 8 February 1994)

Earlier this year, we thought we’d be willing to trade an increase in the debt ceiling for something of lasting value — like a balanced budget amendment. We now think that’s a strategic mistake.

The real strategic opportunity lies in the debt ceiling itself. As long as we maintain THAT, then nothing else needs to be done to balance the budget.

We’ve started a permanent new campaign to promote this idea called, “Cap the Debt.”

Here’s what I wrote in my first letter to Congress using this new campaign . . .

I believe it’s better to retain the current debt ceiling than to raise the ceiling in return for a balanced budget amendment (BBA).

A BBA is vapor-ware. It may not be ratified by the States, and even if it is, Congress may not obey it. It’s not like you guys obey the rest of the Constitution.

A BBA might theoretically lead to a balanced budget in the distant future, IF it gets ratified, and IF Congress obeys it, but the debt ceiling is in place NOW, and can balance the budget NOW, if only YOU will retain it.

Do NOT raise the debt ceiling for ANY purpose as part of ANY deal. Let the current ceiling be a true ceiling. Cap the debt now, permanently.

END LETTER

If you agree with this idea, please send a letter of your own to Congress. You can copy or borrow from my personal comments above. You can use DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System to send your letter.

Please ask your friends to send letters too. We need all hands on deck. House Republicans can do this by themselves if they have the courage, so they need to hear that voters want this. Democrats in conservative districts might be persuaded to go this way too. And all those in Congress who think the ceiling shouldn’t really be a ceiling need to get a letter too. Let’s make them nervous about their irresponsibility.

And don’t stop there. We want the words “Cap the Debt” to be on everyone’s lips. This is a social media opportunity. We’ve created a Facebook page, just for this campaign. Please become a Facebook “Fan” of “Cap The Debt.”

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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