U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today introduced legislation for a constitutional amendment that would require Congress to have a balanced budget. Senator Shelby has introduced similar legislation in every Congress since 1981.
“As we enter a new fiscal year, I can think of no better time to introduce a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution,” said Shelby. “In fiscal year 2006, the total interest on Treasury debt securities was $405.9 billion. This money could be better spent on improving education, developing new medical technologies or even returning it to the people who earned it. But instead, about 14 percent of the federal budget is wasted on interest payments because advocates of big government continue to block all efforts to balance the budget.”
“A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is the only certain mechanism to break the cycle of deficit spending and ensure that the government does not continue to saddle our children and grandchildren with the current generation's debts,” said Shelby.
If passed and ratified by three-fourths of the states, this amendment to the Constitution would require that the total amount of money spent by the United States during any fiscal year, except during times of war, not exceed the amount of revenue received by the United States during the same fiscal year and not exceed 20 percent of the gross national product of the United States during the previous calendar year.