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The "Balanced Budget or Else" Act

by Countable | 4.27.17

If you could submit one bill to Congress, what would it do? It's a question we've been asking the Countable community, and we've received fascinating answers -- some serious, some quirky, but all a testament to the intelligence of the Countable community.

The "Balanced Budget or Else" Act, submitted by Anthony, would require Members of Congress to submit a balanced budget proposal each year -- or else forfeit their salaries. Given that Congress is voting on a real bill to fund the government now, it's certainly a unique proposal to consider!

How would you vote on it?

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(85)
  • Sue
    04/27/2017
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    This is simply an unreasonable way to govern and would tie our hands in cases of emergencies or to meet the actual needs of the country. Vote no.

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  • Duane
    04/27/2017
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    The thing is they will balance the budget on the back the poor and the middle class. They also need to cut military spending and quick talking about taking away health care. The money they give to the Insurance CEO's could be used for a single payer healthcare system. It's something that needs to gradually happen over time to balance the budget. Most of all raising the cap on social security would help that problem.

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  • Colin
    04/27/2017
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    I'm not willing to consider it unless cutting the military is on the bargaining table. And if you're not willing to put that on the table, maybe you don't really want a balanced budget.

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  • Connie
    04/27/2017
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    Not a good idea! There is a balance of good debt and bad debt. Think about why you take on debt. Most people don't buy their home outright, they use a loan. It's an investment to grow your wealth. The same logic applies the economy. You can't wait years to accumulate the money to pay for roads, bridges, schools, social programs, etc. And what would you do when a recession hits and tax revenues fall? Should the national debt be more sustainable? Absolutely! But the proposed bill's solution to debt is a simplistic view of how the economy works and would negatively impact productivity and growth.

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  • Ticktock
    04/27/2017
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    A balanced budget is not feasible unless US citizen are willing to do without most of all the services the government provides or is willing to pay more in taxes for the services. I'm thinking neither. That's saying nothing of how that would be accomplished. I know that I would not trust our current Congress or President to attempt such a feat. If this is ever done the US wouldn't even be considered a third world country.

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  • profjsethlee
    04/27/2017
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    Budgets are important and it is important to reasonably manage and minimize debt. I really wish it were this easy, but as good as it sounds it would be a horrible way to run a government. There would be times when it simply would not be possible (our desperately needed infrastructure investment is just one example), even if we lived with a functional body of reasonable adults running the system.

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  • Carole
    04/27/2017
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    Balancing the budget on the backs of government employees, the military, and social security insurance recipients while Dolt 45 is bringing an entourage to one of his resorts, weekly, is a blatant indication that the Republican White House and Republican legislature have no regard for anyone outside of their 1%.

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  • James
    04/27/2017
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    This is stupid. The government issues the currency and can spend to the limits of real capacity in the economy. The problem in the economy now is the timidity of the federal government to spend on real investments and needs of the country.

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  • Lucie carter
    04/28/2017
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    We are not a business. We are a government. Every year or two the GOPers trot this pony out. Because they like it, it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Take the damn pony back to the barn!

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  • Mark
    04/28/2017
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    This is moronic. Go talk to an economist before you pass this mess. The economics of a family, a small business, a corporation and a government are different. The purpose of government and a business is wholly different. Any statement otherwise is a gross simplification of reality.

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  • Karen
    04/27/2017
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    Vote no! Why don't you care now about the increase to the debt? If we can afford tax cuts then leave our AFA SS and Medicare alone! Giving tax cuts to a man that can't even own up to showing the American people his business acumen, is stupid!

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  • Jeanne
    04/28/2017
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    Righteous in theory, ridiculous in application on so many levels.

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  • Dennis
    04/27/2017
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    I like it. Would nice if more of them earned their salary.

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  • VSB
    04/28/2017
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    This is unreasonable. Balancing the budget cannot be done while sacrificing Medicaid, public education, and while giving credits to the wealthiest in our country.

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  • Robert
    04/28/2017
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    Regarding the balanced budget or else act..."For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. ". H. L. Mencken

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  • Dave.Land
    04/28/2017
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    As with term limits, "three strikes" laws, and mandatory sentencing, I'm opposed to simplistic "all-or-nothing" ideas like this one. Moreover, deficit spending (which is what I assume this childish tantrum of an idea means, rather than debt, which cannot be erased in a single budgetary year) is not the end-of-the-world scenario that Republicans have portrayed it to be. While I endorse working to reduce the debt over time, it should be done by slashing military spending, which has always been off the table. We overspend on the military by at least 2x, possibly 5x what would be needed to be a well-protected member of the community of nations, instead of strutting around as the world cop. America's addiction to violence is the problem, not deficit spending.

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  • Jonathan
    04/27/2017
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    I balance MY budget. My company balances THEIR budget. Why shouldn't our government balance THEIR budget? They need to. And you know they won't do it unless there are penalties. Take away their money. Paying them is part of the budget issue!

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  • JSB
    04/27/2017
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    Absolutely! There has to be some kind of personal repercussions for them in order for them to start doing their jobs.

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  • Karen
    04/28/2017
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    Vote NO, leaves no flexibility....

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  • David
    04/28/2017
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    This idea was famously proposed by Warren Buffet, but is always taken out of context. He followed it up with "but it would be a terrible idea." It has been done in American history, Andrew Jackson paid off the national debt, and a terrible depression followed in its wake

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