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Topics: Economy, Congress, Budget

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

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Washington DC, April 15 2009: The Democratic controlled 111th Congress passed a Constitutional amendment today making the president personally responsible for any budget deficits.

Both the US Senate and US House of Representatives overwhelmingly exceeded the Constitutional amendment requirements of a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers. It is anticipated that three-quarters of the state legislatures will quickly follow suit and ratify the 28th amendment to the US Constitution.

The intent of the latest Constitutional amendment is an attempt to control spending by both the president and congress. President Ronald Reagan tried to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment in the 1980s that failed. President Bill Clinton in the 1990s had a legislative line item veto that was declared unconstitutional.

The logic behind this new amendment is quite simple. The US House of Representatives can originate money bills to spend what they wish, above incoming tax revenue budgets. Proposed funding legislation is also subject to US Senate approval and may then be vetoed by the president, if he or she deems the spending excessive. Congress may override the president's veto, if the votes exist. When the president's veto is sustained, he or she is a hero. When Congress overrides the president's veto, he or she must pay the difference with respect to the budgeted cost. When the president calls for excessive spending legislation that is subsequently rejected by congress, they are the heroes. If congress passes the president's legislation, he or she must pay the difference with respect to the budgeted cost. Congress can always blame the president, but American taxpayers are not burdened with excess spending costs. Remember the sign on President Harry S. Truman's desk read "The Buck Stops Here."

The 28th amendment does not apply to the sitting president. Who then will next seek the office of the presidency?

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