Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why Cut, Cap & Balance is Clownish Legislation

How unserious are Republicans about the debt ceiling. The House Republicans "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill states that they won't raise the debt ceiling until they get a balanced budget amendment into the Constitution.

(a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall not exercise the additional borrowing authority provided under subsection (b) until the Archivist of the United States transmits to the States H.J. Res. 1 in the form reported on June 23, 2011, S.J. Res. 10 in the form introduced on March 31, 2011, or H.J. Res. 56 in the form introduced on April 7, 2011, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, or a similar amendment if it requires that total outlays not exceed total receipts, that contains a spending limitation as a percentage of GDP, and requires that tax increases be approved by a two-thirds vote in both Houses of Congress for their ratification.

It would takes about 25 years to supermajorities in Congress to and pass the bill and the state to ratify the amendment. The debt ceiling needs to be raised on August 2.

What would Republicans do and Obama caved and actually agreed to not sign a debt ceiling increase until a balance budget amendment was in the Constitution. Wall Street would freak on the Republicans. The tea party would demand that Republicans stand on principle. Republicans would probably run from their own balanced budget amendment proposal. The GOP could turn the base away from a balanced budget amendment under the absurd logic that they can't support their own proposal because Obama supports it. This is why you don't legislation and the Constitution for publicity stunts.

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