Sunday, January 07, 2007

Balanced budget

U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg says he is sponsoring legislation to amend the U.S. Constitution to require the federal government to balance its budget.

"The spirit of the Balanced Budget Amendment is to stop using budget gimmicks to mislead the public about how taxpayer dollars are being spent," he said in a news release. "We balanced the budget in the Montana Legislature and there is no reason Congress shouldn't be able to do the same."

Actually, there are plenty of reasons, as Rehberg well knows. Just look at what the Bush administration did with the balanced budget it inherited. Regardless of what you thought of the tax cuts, do you suppose that a single American would have argued on Sept. 12, 2001, that we couldn't retaliate against Osama Bin Laden because there wasn't enough money in the budget?

Running the country just ain't the same as running Montana. Yes, Congress ought to do a far better job of balancing spending and revenues than it does. And it ought to cut out the budget gimmicks. No constitutional amendment is required for it do that -- just integrity and leadership.

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