Yesterday Heidi Heitkamp announced that she was in favor of a balanced budget amendment. “Where in the past, I haven’t always been a big fan of amending the Constitution to take care of things that legislators and public servants can do all on their own … I’ve been persuaded in the last year,” Heitkamp told the Fargo Forum
Setting aside perfectly valid suspicions of politicians who suddenly see the light on fiscal matters during election years, there’s the fact that Heitkamp wants to exempt entitlements like Social Security and Medicare from any balanced budget amendment she’d support. And there’s a problem with that.
Social Security, Medicare and the interest on the national debt add up to $2.3 trillion. If we exempted those two entitlement programs from the balanced budget, we could eliminate every single penny of discretionary spending this nation does – all the spending on the roads and the military and the national parks, etc., etc. – and still run a budget deficit measured in the billions of dollars.
Clearly, Heitkamp isn’t serious about balancing the budget.