I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but the Republican “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a travesty of a sham of a mockery of two shams of a travesty. Read it for yourself:
Section 1. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year.
Section 2. Total outlays shall not exceed 18 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States for the calendar year ending prior to the beginning of such fiscal year.
Section 3. The Congress may provide for suspension of the limitations imposed by section 1 or 2 of this article for any fiscal year for which two-thirds of the whole number of each House shall provide, by a roll call vote, for a specific excess of outlays over receipts or over 18 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States for the calendar year ending prior to the beginning of such fiscal year.
Section 4. Any bill to levy a new tax or increase the rate of any tax shall not become law unless approved by two-thirds of the whole number of each House of Congress by a roll call vote.
Notice anything fishy? I’ll help you out.
Section 4 means that Social Security and Medicare can be gutted with simple majority votes, but it will take a super-majority to pay for anything. Section 3 means that Congress can ignore Sections 1 and 2 when the going gets tough. Welcome back, deficits!
Even by Republican standards, this is a sick joke.