Americans Are Favorable Toward a Balanced Budget Amendment

But you might not have heard that yet

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Asked three different ways, the CNN/ORC poll still finds that a majority of Americans support a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution; although, one has to read to paragraph thirteen of CNN's poll analysis to learn of this finding.

According to the analysis, the balanced budget amendment is one of few proposals favored by a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans (see table below). As explained here, only the "cut, cap, and balance" approach, balanced budget amendment, and particular combinations of spending cuts and tax increases earns majority support. Of course, one could argue that the public may not understand the consequences of a balanced budget amendment, but the same could be said for many of these proposals, as unintended consequences may not yet be fully realized. (For example, see effects of luxury tax on yachts)

CNN Poll Results July 18-20 2011

In another proposal, Congress would raise the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved.  Would you favor or oppose this proposal?

Favor              66%

Oppose            33%

No Opinion        1%

Would you favor or oppose a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget?

Favor              74%

Oppose            24%

No Opinion        1%

In order to get the federal budget deficit under control, do you think it is necessary or not necessary to pass a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget?

Necessary         60%

Not Necessary    38%

No Opinion        1%

Support for a Balanced Budget Amendment by Party

In another proposal, Congress would raise the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved. Would you favor or oppose this proposal? (FAVOR)

 

Democrats        63%

Independents     65%

Republicans       73%

Would you favor or oppose a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget? (FAVOR)

 

Democrats        66%

Independents     76%

Republicans       84%

In order to get the federal budget deficit under control, do you think it necessary or not necessary to pass a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget? (NECESSARY)

Democrats        52      

Independents     63      

Republicans       68

Support for a Balanced Budget Amendment Over Time

The support for a balanced budget amendment is not new. Since the early 1990s, CNN has asked questions regarding this proposal and has found little movement in favorability.

Would you favor or oppose a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget?

 

In order to get the federal budget deficit under control, do you think it is necessary or not necessary to pass a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget?

 

For more details and methodology, see full CNN Poll Results.

This also appeared at Cato@Liberty here.

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    1. Note section 8 which balances the budget in times of economic expansion, and allows modest deficits in times of contraction. Since the economy will expand over the years, it will pay off the debt eventually. Got a better idea? Read it all and comment, please.

      1. All persons residing in the U.S. shall come together in “tax units”. Members need not be related, need not reside together, and a tax unit may consist of as few as one person.
      2. Each year congress shall set a “minimum wage” and a “tax rate”.
      3. The following shall not be subject to taxation:
      ? An amount equal to a year’s earnings (2000 hours) at the minimum wage, for each adult (age 20-65), decreasing 10% per year to 50% at age 15, and increasing 10% per year to 150% at age 70.
      ? All payments for necessary health care including medical care, pharmaceuticals prescribed by a health care professional, vision and hearing aids, and fees for health-enhancing entities such as gyms. Health care insurance premiums may be deducted but not health care expense paid for by such insurance.
      ? All educational expenses including day care for children or legally incompetent persons, the portion of state and local taxes used for education, and tuition, fees and educational materials for private school education, including that portion of parochial school tuition and other expenses going for non-sectarian education.
      ? All income saved into an account for investments; withdrawals from this account for the benefit of any member of the tax unit shall be reported as income.
      4. The “tax rate” shall be applied to any income greater than the deductions listed above, regardless of amount.
      5. Any municipality having greater than 100,000 inhabitants or any state may impose on their citizens a surtax which shall be applied the same as the Federal tax.
      6. Tax units whose deductions exceed income, shall be paid a sum equal to the tax rate multiplied by the shortfall in income.
      7. There shall be no federal tax on corporations or other business entities.
      8. The Office of Management and Budget shall compute revenues to be expected using the newly set tax rate and minimum wage, applied to the previous year’s reported incomes. No expenses in excess of that amount may be made without approval by 75% of each house of Congress. This tax shall be the only source of revenue for the federal government.

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  5. If Congress passed the Unpatriot Act in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment, only a fool would believe that a balanced budget amendment will make congress pass balanced budgets.

  6. Just a small caveat; text for the balanced budget amendments still allow exemptions in times of war. Relatedly, when was the US not involved in some kind of war? Get ready for schmorgesborg of really perverse incentives.

  7. Do you want a bunch of free shit that’s paid for using other peoples money stolen from them by the government?
    70% yes
    20% no
    10% unsure

  8. A unique discussion merits a comment. I think that you need to write more on this subject, it might not be a taboo issue however normally people are not enough to speak on such topics. to another. Many thanks

  9. I vote for regulation by competition. But that idea gets a bum rap when it fails. I contend most, if not all, of those failures are due to lack of competition, not competition’s failure. It makes no sense to build parallel roadways, railroads or power lines. But competing truck companies, trains or power producers can deliver efficiently when under the threat of competition. So let us separate the competitive elements of an industry from the non-competitive, with no financial ties whatsoever between the two. Should the non-competitive be privately owned and publicly regulated or publicly owned? there is probably no 100% answer to that, but the non-competitive need regular review, for like telephony, technology will change the rules from time-to-time.- ????? 2017????? ????? ???????

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