Thanks once again to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!
Moving on: File this under “really good ideas that will never happen.” Excerpt, with my comments:
The House is slated to vote next week on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution after lawmakers return from their Easter recess.
The decision to bring the measure — which would require Congress not to spend more than it brings in — to the floor comes just weeks after the passage of a $1.3 trillion spending package that is projected to add billions to the deficit.
Irony, thy name is the United States Congress.
The amendment, introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), would require a “true majority” in both the House and Senate to pass tax increases and a three-fifths majority in both chambers to increase the debt limit.
And that would be a great idea. But:
The measure has virtually no chance of becoming law as it would need Democratic support in the Senate and ratification from the majority of states. While conservative hard-liners largely support the proposal, critics argue adding a constitutional amendment could weaken economic activity and exacerbate recessions by limiting the government’s ability to spend money.
Good. Good! My response to that complaint from the “critics” takes the form of four words: Fuck you, cut spending. There are entire Cabinet-level departments that are not authorized by the Constitution and therefore prohibited by the Tenth Amendment: Education, Commerce, Environment, and so on. Wipe them out. RIF the bureaucrats, let them find honest jobs.
The decision to take up the measure stems from an agreement struck between Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) in October. Ryan agreed on a vote on the amendment in exchange for conservative support on a procedural budget measure needed for Republicans to move forward on tax reform.
And of course Ryan agreed; it doesn’t cost him anything, as he knows it won’t go anywhere. I don’t agree about the ratification argument; I think it’s very likely that 38 states would vote to rein in Imperial spending. But in the current Senate, no way. It’s not going anywhere.
It’s a fine pass we’ve come to – that such a proposal, requiring the Imperial government to live within its means like all of the citizenry must do, is doomed to failure before a single vote is called.