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Staggering U.S. debt shows need for a balanced budget amendment

Jan 27, 2017 - Rodney “Pete” Anderson, Pine Bluffs

The national debt is staggering, nearly $20 trillion. To get a sense of our collective debt: If a person's salary is $40,000 per year it would take 25 years to earn $1 million; 25,000 to earn $2 billion; 25 million years to earn $1 trillion. Multiply and you began to comprehend the huge hole our government has dug. Is this the heritage you want to pass on to future generations?

When the founders crafted our U.S. Constitution, they gave the states absolute power over Washington, not the other way around. If the states hope­ to deter Congress of its deficit spending addiction, the states must use their power under Article V to propose and ratify a balanced budget amendment (BBA). This is the only way to prevent Washington bureaucrats from bankrupting America.

Can this be accomplished overnight? Of course not, but for the sake of our children, grandchildren and future generations we must take the first step, start the process and begin moving in that direction.

The process for letting our Congressmen and women in Washington know that we, the people, will no longer tolerate their run-away spending and borrowing from Social Security, Medicare, etc, is carefully and meticulously laid out. In a simple nutshell stated in Article V: Two-thirds (34) of the state legislatures must pass a resolution applying for a convention to propose a specific amendment; in this case the BBA. Congress verifies the 34 states, sets the time and place for the convention. Please understand there are safeguards built into the process to assure that the BBA is the only amendment considered at this convention of states.

Each state delegation, regardless of population or size gets one vote. After a majority of the states at the convention cast their majority vote for the BBA, then three-quarters of the states must ratify the amendment before it becomes a part of the U. S. Constitution.

The need for this amendment was probably best laid out by U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) on March 16, 2010, when he said, "The only way to get Congress to balance the budget is to give them no choice. The only way to keep them out of the cookie jar is to give them no choice.... If you don't tie our hands, we'll keep stealing."

Our Wyoming Legislature has an opportunity during this session to let Washington know Wyoming will no longer tolerate its habitual excessive spending.

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