As the continuing saga of our national debt unfolds, it’s truly remarkable to observe the violent—almost hysterical—opposition to a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to our constitution. The Republicans passed their second bill (the Democrats have yet to pass even one) earlier today in which a request for a BBA was included along with an increase in the debt limit. The left-wing of the democratic party criticized the legislation using every pejorative it could think of. Mild criticism calls it “irresponsible,” while more colorful descriptions called it “extremist,” and the truly unhinged called it “terrorism.” But why?
What’s irresponsible about spending within your means? What’s extreme about suggesting a proposal that 60-plus percent of the American people (according to recent polls) want? What’s terroristic about forcing our “leaders” to prioritize their spending?
Maybe the reason that some on the Left become unhinged when a BBA is proposed is because it’s a harbinger of the end of their big government dream. It’s also a collision with reality—there is no more money to support uncontrolled spending in our budget and entitlements. Finally, it’s a signal that they’ve lost the philosophical debate of what America is to be.
In November, 2010, the electorate provided a clear signal that they do not want to become a social democracy in the European mold. They’ve observed the Euros and really don’t want to become Greece, or Spain, or Ireland, or Portugal. More recently, they’ve looked at the U.K and watched as that country made painful budget cuts to save themselves from default. The world didn’t end.
Remember, all the Republicans are requesting is that the Congress bring the BBA up for a vote among the states. It would take years to enact, but it would be a clear signal to the rest of the world that we’re serious about getting our economic house in order. You’d think that President Obama and the vast majority of Democrats would be in favor of that. They aren't, and now you know the reason why.