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A Balanced Budget Amendment: The Solution to Our Growing Debt Crisis

The US Federal Government continues to levy more taxes, spend more money, and even beyond what it is able to garner in taxes, borrows money to spend, resulting in multi-trillion dollar (actually over $14 trillion now) Federal debt that will fall on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren. Our Federal debt level as of this writing is $14,358,442,243,737.99, or $46,200 per American citizen. ( So if you are part of a family of 4, your family is currently indebted for $185,000 over and above your current tax burden. And at this point, there is no end in sight.

Foreign governments and investors hold $3.43 trillion of this debt — approximately 24 percent of our GDP. The major creditors are the People’s Republic of China ($798.9 billion), Japan ($751.5 billion), the United Kingdom ($249.3 billion), OPEC nations ($185.3 billion), and Caribbean banking centers ($171.7 billion); even Russia currently holds $118.0 billion of the US national debt. The interest costs to service this debt is in excess of $383 billion a year (FY-2009) — approximately 20 percent of our total tax revenues. The interest costs are now more than the Federal government spends on Homeland Security, education, the environment, housing, veterans programs, transportation and agriculture combined. Payment on our debt is now the biggest annual appropriation line item in the Federal budget. About 20 cents out of every tax dollar is spent to pay the swelling interest on the Federal debt. It’s growing to a size that surpasses our entire defense budget. In fact, about half of all individual income taxes are now required to pay the interest on the Federal debt. (

It’s time for a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. In fact, it’s well past time. The US Federal Government must be required to spend than less than the amount it receives from income taxes every year, unless there is an ongoing war. I am reading an interesting work of fiction by Vince Flynn entitled “Term Limits”. The premise of this book is that powerful people in the US decide that in order to save the United States from corruption and malfeasance on the part of Government officials, they are going to assassinate congressional representatives, senators, even the President if that is what it takes to get a meaningful reduction in spending. The zealots described in this book believe that it is the only course of action capable of saving America from itself. It’s an interesting read. I’m hoping that it doesn’t come to that. I’m hoping that electing responsible, courageous representatives will enable us to make course corrections before it’s too late. Hope springs eternal, right?

What do you think?

2 Responses to “A Balanced Budget Amendment: The Solution to Our Growing Debt Crisis”

  1. Marie Luft says:

    As long as we have elections every two/four years, not to mention hundreds of lobbyists and congressional people with different ideas on where to spend our money, I think passing a balanced budget amendment would be a waste of time. I know there are states that have it and I guess it works at that level but nothing seems to work at the congressional level. It should not be necessary. It’s not “all for one and one for all” there … it’s me, me, me.

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