NATIONAL DEBT FACTS

  • The U.S. government is the largest debtor in the history of the world.
  • Imagine a pile of a billion dollars. Our debt equals over 18,000 of those piles.
  • Interest on the debt cost taxpayers more than $400 billion during just the last year.
  • Federal debt was gigantic seven years ago, and has since doubled.

DEBT HURTS YOU

The skyrocketing federal debt has moved the government near to a financial collapse that will close many banks, drive up unemployment, destroy businesses, raise taxes, and erase savings. The poor will lose government services. The middle class will be hit with higher taxes. The wealthy have the most to lose. Enormous debt has made our citizens poorer. The national debt is your debt. Interest on the debt must be paid year after year after year. That interest is a debt tax... on you. The national debt is an irresponsible government burden on taxpayers now, and on all of America's children. Capital that could finance consumer purchases, business growth, and job creation instead goes to pay for Washington's past borrowing. The budget can be balanced without tax increases or spending cuts. There would be a budget surplus today if spending increases during the last forty years had been limited to five percent a year.

AMERICA ON THE BRINK

When any organization has lost control of its budget, it is out of control. The federal government is out of control. A definition of bankruptcy is that a person or an organization cannot pay the bills. The federal government cannot pay its bills, without massive borrowing and descending ever deeper into debt. The aging of the population and increased health care costs will further drive up federal spending. A devastating economic crisis is approaching. Other nations have gone down the path of irresponsible spending and experienced the misery of raging inflation or economic depression. A common tactic of bankrupt nations is to print vast quantities of paper money, resulting in hyperinflation. Federal Reserve Bank computers are already greatly expanding the money supply. The debt bomb is set to explode. When our national government finally declares it is bankrupt, who will bail us out? The United Nations? If a nation deliberately wanted to ruin its economy, it would bury itself in debt, just as America is doing right now.

THE ONLY REAL SOLUTION

Only a constitutional amendment will stop more federal debt. All the past attempts in Washington to slow debt growth have been ineffective. However, there is no way to get around a constitutional amendment. It is the supreme law of the land. A constitutional amendment is the strongest possible balanced budget mandate. The President and Congress have no choice but to follow it. A balanced budget amendment puts a sensible limit on government power. The United States was founded upon a belief in limited government.

ARTICLE V OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof,...”

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Write or call your state legislators today to ask for an amending convention to propose a federal balanced budget amendment. State legislators have the right to call for an amending convention of the states. (Please note the list of states below.)

A SAMPLE LETTER YOU COULD USE IN WRITING A STATE LEGISLATOR

I am writing about a serious problem that hurts your constituents, and how you can help us. The federal debt is enormous, over eighteen trillion dollars, and growing fast. The federal government's borrowing is out of control. Something must be done. More than two-thirds of the necessary 34 states have already requested a convention of the states, solely to propose a federal balanced budget constitutional amendment. Our state has not done so yet. The convention is expressly authorized in Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

A convention of the states cannot change the federal constitution, but can propose an amendment. The amendment takes effect if three-fourths of the states later ratify it. States have legislated clear commitments to propose only a balanced budget amendment. Can the states responsibly propose an amendment? Forty-nine states have responsibly drafted, adopted, and lived with effective state balanced budget requirements. Only a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget will protect us from higher and higher levels of debt. Every other solution has been tried and failed. The Founding Fathers intended for this amending procedure to be used when needed. It is needed.

The federal debt cost taxpayers over $400 billion just for interest last year. The debt has doubled in the last seven years. Mountains of debt are a burden now and on those who inherit our debts, our children. Default on its financial obligations by the federal government will cause chaos and devastate the American economy. Polls consistently show that two out of three voters support a federal balanced budget amendment.

Our country is heading for economic disaster. Would you sponsor state legislation calling for a balanced budget convention? You can help change the future of our country. A federal balanced budget amendment will be good for the people you represent, for your children, for my children, and for America's future.

Sincerely,

States That Have Not Yet Requested A Balanced Budget Amending Convention
Is Your State Here?
Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

Your state legislators' postal or email addresses are on the website of your state's legislature. 

QUESTIONS

Would our country be better off if we did not have eighteen trillion dollars of government debts?

What will happen to the United States if its debt keeps piling up as it is now?

What realistic alternative to control this critical debt problem is there, other than a balanced budget constitutional amendment?

Since Congress has not passed a balanced budget amendment, how can the American majority who want the amendment achieve that goal?

Since the states have added balanced budget amendments to their constitutions without negative consequences, is this proof that the states are capable of prudently developing a federal balanced budget amendment?

AMENDMENT

State legislators can call for a convention to propose an amendment to the federal constitution. Since Congress has not acted and will not act, this is the best solution to the debt problem. A constitutional amendment would require the federal government to budget responsibly. More than two-thirds of the necessary 34 states have already requested a convention to propose an amendment. Once proposed, the amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states to become law. The Founding Fathers intended for this method of amending to be used when Congress would not take action.

NATIONAL DEBT NUMBERS
(for the fiscal year)

1960 $ 286,330,000,000
1970 $ 370,918,000,000
1980 $ 907,701,000,000
1990 $ 3,233,313,000,000
2000 $ 5,674,178,000,000
2010 $ 13,561,623,000,000
2020 $ 23,000,000,000,000
2020 is the Congressional
Budget Office projection.

A BIPARTISAN REFORM

Democratic President Bill Clinton advocated a federal balanced budget, and the national debt increased more slowly during his terms in office. Also, most Republicans support a balanced budget.

RONALD REAGAN ON ARTICLE V:

Noting there are two ways an amendment can be proposed, Reagan said there is no danger in an amending convention, stating: "In my view those who warn of this show little faith in our democratic procedures. The Constitution provides for both methods and the convention is a safety valve giving the people a chance to act if Congress refuses to."

INSIGHTS

"The debt is like a cancer," that is "truly going to destroy this country from within," said a White House Chief of Staff, Erskine Bowles.

"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt." Admiral Michael Mullen, recent Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman

"It's a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate plans are required to waste this much money."
P. J. O'Rourke

THE STATES SUCCESSFULLY AMEND THEIR CONSTITUTIONS AND BALANCE THEIR BUDGETS.

Can the states prudently amend the federal constitution to balance the federal budget? Yes. First, the amending convention cannot change the constitution. It can only propose amendment language. Second, a proposed amendment has to be ratified by three-fourths of the states. This rigorous procedure is a solid safeguard. Third, states are calling for the convention solely to deal with the debt issue. That is obvious. Fourth, state leaders will be in charge. The news media will focus on all of their work. Fifth, which state leaders want to weaken the U.S. Constitution? None, thus it won't happen. Sixth, state legislatures have for hundreds of years proposed amendments to their constitutions. This authority has been used reasonably. Seventh, the states have adopted state balanced budget requirements. Experience has proven that was wise. Balanced budget amendments in state constitutions have long functioned effectively.

VOTERS IN FAVOR

Polls consistently show that voters are in favor of a federal balanced budget amendment. Americans intuitively understand that high levels of debt are a major problem. It is common sense not to run up big deficits every year.