Green introduces Balanced Budget Amendment

Shortly after the Michigan Senate completed work on the state budget Wednesday, Sen. Mike Green announced a joint resolution to petition congress to call a constitutional convention to propose a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.

“Michigan has just completed another fiscally sound, balanced state budget. Regardless of which party is in power in the state, the budget is always balanced because the state constitution says it must be,” said Green, R-Mayville, during a speech on the Senate floor. “This provision serves the people of Michigan well and I believe it would serve this nation just as well.”

The balanced budget amendment would require that, like Michigan, Congress adopt a budget every fiscal year in which spending does not exceed revenues, with the only exception being during national emergencies. Once adopted by 2/3 of the fifty states and officially ratified, it would prohibit budget deficits and massive increases in the national debt, which have become routine in Washington, D.C. The amendment has already been adopted by at least 17 states.

Currently, the national debt is just under $17 trillion. That’s nearly $54,000 per person and just under $150,000 per taxpayer. By 2017, it is estimated the national debt will skyrocket to more than $22 trillion.

“Like two freight trains headed toward each other on the same track, uncontrolled spending and national debt will be devastating to our nation and its economy if we don’t put the brakes on both, as has been demonstrated time and again around the world,” Green said.

Green argued that since there was a vacuum of fiscal leadership in Washington, the states must take the reins by petitioning Congress to take action on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will force the nation’s leaders to do the job they were elected to do.

“At the federal level, congress and the president should be applying the same principles taught in high-school-level money management classes,” Green continued. “Prioritize your needs. Live within your means. Plan ahead. Balance your budget. It’s that simple.”

Officially designated as Senate Joint Resolution V, the measure has been referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee.

You can find a recording of Sen. Green’s speech on his website: