Does the United States Need a Balanced Budget Amendment?
As the United States’ looming deficit continues to dominate the national discourse, many are calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment to be added to the Constitution. Such an amendment would require that the United States not spend more than its expected income in a year. Most states and some countries already have written balanced-budget provisions into their constitutions. Supporters of the amendment argue that it would force the federal government to spend responsibly, and is necessary given Congress’ failed attempts to cut down the national debt, most recently with the breakdown of the deficit-reduction “super committee.” However, critics of the amendment argue that such a provision would constrain eocnomic growth, especially during recessions, when tax revenue is down and more people depend on the government for social welfare benefits. Here is the Debate Club’s take on the Balanced Budget Amendment: