Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vitter's Balanced Budget Amendment and Other Stupid Ideas

I was pondering this Balanced Budget Amendment idea and kept coming to the conclusion that it would be a horrible way to run the country, and that was before I read The Pelican Institute's post stating: "Despite a balanced budget requirement, Louisiana has still managed to acquire $21 billion more in liabilities than it has assets to offset them."

It was also before I read that Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute said: "It is about the most irresponsible action imaginable. It would virtually ensure that an economic downturn would end up as a deep depression, by erasing any real ability of the government to pursue countercyclical fiscal policies and in fact demanding the opposite, at the worst possible time."

I think good ole Norm was getting at what I was thinking. I was thinking: where will Louisiana get federal disaster help the next time a levee or an oil well explodes? Given the state's Republican leaders' non-stop pleading for help cleaning up the oil and making the fisherman financially whole again, we'd be up shit bayou if we need those funds if while operating under a federal Balanced Budget Amendment we have a disaster at a point in the fiscal year when all federal disaster funds have already been allocated.

I emailed Senator Vitter and posed this very question to him when I learned of his refusal to vote for a debt ceiling bill unless it is tied to a Balanced Budget Amendment, but he didn't respond. Which brings me to the point of this post. Why does Senator Vitter keep wasting his time on stupid legislation that even other conservatives consider stupid? We all champion lost causes now and again, but Vitter seems to have made a career out of being
on the wrong side of issues, being ineffective, and even worse, being consistently counterproductive.