Legacy of Debt: balanced Budget Amendment - 1/6/97
Even more ancient sources are supportive of an unBBA. In the Bible, Joseph doesn't advise the Pharaoh to balance the budget; instead, he tells the Pharaoh to save during the seven fat years so he will be prepared for the seven lean. An unbalanced-budget amendment reflects this simple and ancient wisdom.
Which of the following arguments would a supporter of a balanced ..
The public is tired of repeated failures to put the U.S. financial house in order. A recent CNN poll showed that nearly 3 out of 4 Americans supported a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. If the politicians won't be virtuous then, so the thinking goes, we must substitute law for virtue.
So instead of a balanced-budget amendment, I propose that a better idea might be an unbalanced-budget amendment (unBBA). It would allow the government to run a deficit during a recession. But unlike now, the amendment would require the government to run a budget surplus in good times. So although an unBBA would allow for deficit spending on things like unemployment and food stamps during a recession, it would have similar effects to a balanced-budget amendment over time, because surpluses in good times would be spent in bad times. The surpluses, however, would come when we can most afford them during a boom and the deficits would come when we most need them during a recession.