Saturday, July 30, 2011

Balanced Budget amendment would be un-American

The balanced budget amendment that is gaining currency among certain groups of Republicans is just plain stupid.

The United States obviously has a debt issue that needs to be addressed over a time frame that allows for thoughtful solutions. Notably, we need to end our massive and hopeless police actions in Iraq and Afghanistan and, while staying involved, be an advisor and supplemental enforcement resource rather than a significant armed force that deepens anti-Western resentment. Beyond that, there are solutions that will be related to the tax code, entitlement programs, and the long term purpose of our military, among others issues. Ultimately, however, the way out of this dilemma is GROWTH.

A growing economy will result in more tax revenues and a more self-reliant population. To get there, there is a need to invest in education and infrastructure and a need to embrace all people who can contribute to our prosperity, regardless of gender, race, or national origin.

A balanced budget would preclude the investment needed to nurture growth. Growth is fundamental to the American spirit of optimism. This optimism had been part of our DNA since 1776 and now the misnamed tea party wants to reject that part of our country's genetic code. Any business with opportunities knows that an option to support potential growth is to borrow. Any family knows that, to grow opportunity for family members, borrowing for needs that extend into the long term, prudently done, is essential. That's because the businesses and the families are optimistic. They believe that through work and consistency there is opportunity ahead.

The budget needs to be brought into a better balance. An actual balanced budget would forego opportunities for the future at a time when investors are willing to throw money at us for amazingly low interest costs. How stupid is this idea? We need to invest for growth and this can only be partially self-funded through immediate cuts.

The tea party ideas are simply our of sync with the best of the American tradition. Perhaps education spending is already doomed to be coming too late. What time is Dancing With The Stars on?


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