In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator. — Samuel Adams, letter to the Legislature of Massachusetts, 17 January 1794

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How to Balance the Budget

January 22, 2014   ·   By   ·   4 Comments

In a recent conversation, a member of Congress told me that he thought the original Constitution was flawed because it did not require a balanced federal budget. Therefore, he was in favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment and saw this as a way to limit the runaway spending of the Congress.

I bring up this conversation as an example of what you might call “over-looking the obvious”—or “not being able to see the forest because all the trees are in the way.”

Here’s what I mean:

The Constitution clearly says that Congress can only tax and spend money for certain things. These things are contained in Article One and Section 8 of the document. If this prohibition on spending isn’t clear enough, our founders added the Tenth Amendment, which even more clearly says that if a power was not specifically delegated to the federal government it is reserved to the States or to the people.

Today, the federal government pays no attention to this limited list of its authorized activities. It spends recklessly and lawlessly, doing many things that it has no authority to do.

It doesn’t do any of these things well, but that’s not really the point. The legal point—the Constitutional point—is that it has no authority to spend money on education or health care or social security, just to name a few.

If we could just limit the Congress and the President and the Courts to the lawful activities listed in the Constitution, there would be no spending problem—and no deficit.

But, if Congress won’t follow the plain, clear, unambiguous spending limitations in Article One Section Eight, what makes you think a Balanced Budget Amendment would make them behave?

Learn more about your Constitution with Michael Anthony Peroutka and his Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.


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Michael Anthony Peroutka Esq. is a former Presidential candidate and co-founder of Institute on the Constitution (IOTC) an educational outreach of his law firm that presents the founders “American View” of law and government.  IOTC has produced thousands of graduates in all 50 states with a full understanding of the Biblical principles on which those founding documents are based. Michael is a graduate of Loyola College and the University of Baltimore School of Law.
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  • publiushuldah

    Applause! Applause! This article is so clear and simple that everyone should be able to understand it.

    How can anyone believe that the solution to runaway federal spending is an amendment which says the feds can’t spend more money than they take from you in taxes?

    Or which says the feds can’t spend more money than a certain percentage of the GDP when it is an office in the Executive Branch which computes the GDP?

    Why can The People not understand that such an amendment permits Congress to spend money on whatever they want? And that it does away with the “enumerated powers” limitations on Congress’ spending?

    Have We gone insane?

    • http://www.americanclarion.com/ Bob Ellis

      I (and many others) have been making this argument (that Article 1 Section 8-and the Tenth Amendment-is already a built-in restraint on spending) for years. Unfortunately, these days even most “Republicans” view it with disdain and contempt. I know: I get bashed for my “extremist” views on a particular “Republican” establishment website in my state on a regular basis.

      John Adams said that our constitution was made for a moral and religious people, and is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. We are no longer such a people, and accordingly we have only contempt for the boundaries erected by the founders to protect our freedom.

      May God have mercy on us (even though we don’t deserve it).

      • publiushuldah

        Well, of course - the phony “conservatives” do bash us for it. Red State (Erik Erickson’s site) banned me and anyone who posted my papers which exposed the hoax of the Balanced Budget Amendment.

        These phonies will not tolerate dissent.

    • Noah

      Hear, Hear.

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