In a sign of solidarity with the House Republican caucus, Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) urged President Obama and Democrats to accept a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution at Tuesday’s meeting at the White House. Clearly, Democrats want nothing to do with it, but I just now came across this official explanation (via Huffington Post) from the White House explaining why:
“The fact is that the balanced budget amendment would be, is basically an admission by Congress that they can’t do anything, right?” Carney said. “And that’s not true, as [evidenced by] these discussions that we’re engaged in right now. And it should not be true. And it’s a shame if people actually believe that. So no, we don’t support it.”
The bottom line is that Congress needs to come up with a solution to budget deficits and long-term debt, he said, not punt the issue to the Constitution.
Such an amendment “is not good for the economy; it doesn’t answer the problem, and we need to act because we are capable to doing the work that the American people sent us here to do,” Carney said.
Really? That’s their defense? Considering the fact that a majority of Americans support a balanced budget amendment precisely because they don’t believe that members of Congress can realistically do it on their own, no matter how many secret negotiations they partake in with each other — the mere fact that we are having this discussion is Exhibit A on why Congress and the president are clearly not “capable of doing the work the American people sent us here to do” — you would think they could come up with a less inane argument. But if that’s the best they got, Republicans should force them to keep making it.