Action Alert! Tell your Representative to vote NO on a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA)
April 10, 2018
This bill proposes a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the Constitution of the United States. While it does not directly cut Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, or other programs, it is all but certain to result in massive cuts.
What is a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA)?
A BBA would require that the federal government not spend more than it brings in in a given year. In other words, expenditures cannot exceed revenue in a fiscal year.
While this might sound reasonable on the surface, it is actually bad policy. BBA proponents say that the federal government, just like individuals, must have balanced budgets. But this is a false analogy because it would mean that individuals should not be able to borrow for things like home mortgages or student loans. The federal government also needs the flexibility to borrow sometimes to address critical priorities.
Why is a BBA Harmful?
It will result in cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and other large programs.
These programs are a large part of the federal budget and many members of Congress are seeking ways to cut them. Social Security and Medicare are particularly vulnerable because a BBA prohibits spending from exceeding revenues collected in that year. These programs operate with trust funds that collect dedicated payroll taxes that are partially paid out in future years.
It would harm the economy.
A BBA would likely cause significant harm to the economy, making recessions both deeper and longer. In an economic slowdown, revenues (mostly taxes) fall while spending for unemployment and other benefits increases. A BBA would force policymakers to cut federal programs, raise taxes, or both when the economy is weak or already in recession, the exact opposite of what most economists advise.
Use the widget below to send an email, tweet, and Facebook post directly to your Representative to tell them to oppose the Balanced Budget Amendment (H.J. Res. 2).
Call your Representative!
Dial the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your Representative.
What to say:
- I am a person/family member/other of a person with a disability.
- Please vote NO on H.J Res 2.
- A balanced budget amendment will likely result in severe cuts to programs for people with disabilities.
- If Congress were truly concerned about deficits, it would not have enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December. This law will increase deficits by over $1 trillion over 10 years and mostly helps the wealthiest Americans and large corporations.
- Congress must not try to balance the budget on the backs of people with disabilities.
- Nobel laureates and leading economists oppose constitutional balanced budget amendment – Economic Policy Institute
- Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment Poses Serious Risks – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- National Organizations Opposing the Balanced Budget Amendment (April 20, 2016)
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This action alert was developed with content provided by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD).