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FAQ Series Question #1: Does the Compact's Balanced Budget Amendment Fundamentally Change the Constitution?
October 30, 2014
Today's blog is the first in a multi-part series that will quickly and directly answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get about the Compact for America initiative. Enjoy!
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Does the Compact's Balanced Budget Amendment Fundamentally Change the Constitution?
No. The Compact's Balanced Budget Amendment restores the Constitution’s fundamental design of establishing a federal government of limited and enumerated powers, which would be directly and actively checked and balanced by the states. Over the past 225 years, we have learned that without limits on spending, borrowing and taxing, the political process has and will always cause the federal government to exceed its limited and enumerated powers. The Balanced Budget Amendment restores the Constitution’s fundamental design by placing limits on the federal government’s spending, borrowing and taxing authority.
Further, before the 17th Amendment was enacted, the original design of the Constitution placed the states in control of the U.S. Senate. This enabled the states to directly and actively check and balance the federal government in all areas of national policy. The Amendment returns the states to a direct and active role in checking and balancing the federal government by requiring a majority of state legislatures to approve any increase in the debt limit it establishes. This restores a portion of the power states enjoyed under the Constitution’s original design and targets the restoration of such power to the most obvious problem area of federal overreach.
The Amendment surgically stops the political class from continuing to erode the Constitution’s fundamental design. All other features of the Amendment are in direct service of this goal.