Should the Arizona Legislature make us the 25th state to call for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring the nation’s budget to be in balance?
“The fact is we are in a crisis today, an economic crisis caused largely by the fact that members of Congress have been unable to restrain themselves,” said Ohio Gov. John Kasich at a Phoenix press conference held December 10. “If there are not requirements that force politicians to make decisions that are in the long-term interest of the public, they will punt.”
Article V of the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to go around Congress and the president of the United States to enact federal law when neither branch of government is responding. Two-thirds (34) of state legislatures need to adopt balanced-budget resolutions forcing Congress to call a convention of states. So far, 24 states already have.
“Recently the federal government reached a new high in national debt, $18 trillion, and a new low in fiscal responsibility,” said state Sen.-elect John Kavanagh who is leading state legislative efforts to pass a balanced budget resolution. “States are joining together to restore fiscal sanity to this nation.”
NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan also spoke at the news conference, which included remarks from Sen.-elect Jeff Dial and Reps. David Livingston, Phil Lovas and Kelly Townsend and Reps.-elect Noel Campbell and Jay Lawrence.
“Our members have been saying loudly for decades, ‘We have to balance our budgets in our business, why can’t the federal government do the same,’ ” said Quinlan. Rep. Campbell said America faces a “day of accounting,” if it doesn’t get a grip on its spending.
No issue could have a better leader for it than Governor Kasich is for a federal balanced budget amendment.
He was one of the major architects of the last balanced federal budget in 1997, the “first time we balanced the federal budget since a man walked on the moon.”
After serving as an Ohio state senator, Kasich spent 18 years in Congress, 10 of them, according to him, trying to balance the federal budget, which he succeeded in doing during one of the years he was Budget Committee chairman. He was later elected twice as governor of Ohio where he faced the same budgetary challenges.
“Balancing a budget is not difficult,” he said in a masterful response to one of the media’s questions. “Some things have to go. Some things can be made better.” One example he cited was arresting the cost of Medicaid without removing a single individuals from the rolls or cutting benefits.
Not a Partisan Issue
In another masterful response to a media question asking if the goal of balancing the federal budget was just a Republican one, Kasich replied that many Democrats supported Ohio’s balanced budget amendment, and that Republicans in Congress blew the federal budget surplus he helped leave them. “Overspending is not limited to party.”
NFIB Leading The Charge
NFIB is one of the few national groups to join the charge for a federal balanced budget amendment. Click here
for more information and to sign the petition. As Governor Kasich said when asked if Congress itself could do the job, “Do you think they would take actions to make sure they’re eliminating structural deficits if they weren’t required to?”
Click the graphic below to watch the 30-minute news conference.