Ohio General Assembly
I write in support of H.J. Res. 7, sponsored by Representative Matt Huffman, applying to Congress, under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing a federal balanced budget amendment.
The state initiated amendments process was enshrined in the Constitution for a very important purpose. Our Founding Fathers expected that at some point in the future, the states would request Article V conventions to restrain the growth of the national government. That time has come.
The Ohio resolution calling for a convention makes it clear that the call is limited to a convention that itself will deal with only one a balanced budget amendment. It is duly important that any balanced budget amendment contain a tax limitation provision requiring two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes.
The fact is Washington has an overspending addiction, an addiction that has accelerated in recent years. Historically, outlays have averaged about 21 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while revenues have amounted to about 18 percent of GDP. Due to the current administration and Congress's spending binge, outlays now average almost 25 percent of GDP, and are projected to stay around 23 percent in perpetuity.
Spending at the national level has exploded over the past four years. On average each year, for every dollar of income, Congress spent $1.90! This legacy of fiscal mismanagement will be left to our children and their children's children to pay for.
As Ronald Reagan once said "I think most of you know how badly out of control Federal spending has gotten in recent years. That's why I'm one of those Americans who have always believed a constitutional amendment mandating that Congress balance the budget is the answer to what ails us. It [Balanced Budget Amendment] must prevail because if it does not, the free society we have known for two hundred years, the ideal of a government by consent of the governed will simply cease to exist."
When I was executive director of the National Taxpayers Union in 1978 I worked to win over 18 states to call for such a convention. The election of President Reagan convinced many that there was less of a need for a constitutional barrier to overspending and debt. The last several decades suggests we will need that guardrail and it should be in the constitution.
I would recommend you look at HJR7 and I hope you will choose to vote for this call for a convention for the purposes of proposing a balanced budget amendment.
Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform