(Columbus) - Ohio the latest state to push for a mandate that the federal government balance their budget.
Ohio House Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Huffman (R-Lima) has introduced House Joint Resolution 7, which calls for a constitutional convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to include the balanced budget requirement.
“The founders of this country anticipated the need to give states the option to hold Article V conventions as a check on the federal government,” said Rep. Huffman. “The United States, long considered to be the world’s richest nation, has been borrowing enormous sums of money to fund the general operations of the government, and unless we act now, Congress plans to borrow another $8 trillion by 2020. Ohio and other states must exercise their ability to limit federal borrowing in order to prevent economic collapse.”
34 states are required to pass similar resolutions before Congress must set a time and location for the Article V Convention to occur. Each state legislature will determine its delegates, who will debate the language for a Balanced Budget Amendment. If an amendment is proposed, 38 states will have to vote for ratification.
The United States Department of Treasury projects that the Gross National Debt will exceed $17 trillion by October. Huffman says that's an amount greater than the debt of all European Union nations combined.
Huffman says that from 1993 to 2002, Congress borrowed $1.3 trillion to pay for expenditures. From 2003 to 2008, $3 trillion was borrowed to assist expansion of the Medicare program as well as costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, from 2009 to 2012, Huffman says an astounding $6 trillion was borrowed despite the fact that expenditures for the wars declined significantly. This amounts to Congress spending $1.90 for every $1 of income.
"It's easier for the federal government to spend more than they have because they can and as long as they can this problem is not going to be solved," said Huffman.
State lawmakers are required to have a balanced budget. Huffman says that forces them to sometimes make some tough choices.
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