One can argue that to many Americans, a “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a pain-free way to balance the budget, and that they underestimate the scale of cuts or tax hikes that would be required to ensure that the federal government never spent more than it took in.
Nonetheless, there is something akin to bipartisan unity on this issue:
As the intense debate over the federal budget continues to dramatically unfold in Washington, a new Sachs/Mason-Dixon poll finds an overwhelming number of Americans would support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring Congress to pass a balanced budget every year.
According to the poll, 46 percent of those surveyed would be more likely to vote for a candidate if they also supported a balanced budget amendment, while 21 percent indicated they would be less likely.
Among the poll’s key findings:
-81 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats support a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
-The amendment is opposed by 44 percent of Democrats, 11 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of independents surveyed.
-When asked if a candidate’s support for the amendment would have any effect on their vote, 27 percent reported it would have “no effect” on their vote, including 35 percent of Democrats, 24 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of independents.
-Democrats are split on the amendment with 45 percent in favor of it and 44 percent opposed.
Currently, nearly every state in the nation has a balanced budget amendment, prohibiting states from spending more than they have. Amending the U.S. Constitution to require Congress to pass a balanced budget would require either approval through a Constitutional Convention or three-fourths of the state legislatures to approve it for ratification.
Many political consultants would say anytime you have an issue that unifies your base, wins over a lot of independents, and splits the opposition, you start beating the drum for that issue relentlessly.