Balanced budget amendment
A balanced-budget amendment is a constitutional rule requiring that the state cannot spend more than its income. It requires a balance between the projected receipts and expenditures of the government.
Balanced-budget provisions have been added to the constitutions of most U.S. states, the Basic Law of Germany, the Hong Kong Basic Law, Spain, Italy and the Swiss Constitution. It is often proposed that a balanced-budget rule be added to the national United States Constitution. Most balanced-budget provisions make an exception for times of war, national emergency, or recession, or allow the legislature to suspend the rule by a supermajority vote.
In November 2011 the Austrian coalition government agreed to amend its constitution and introduce a German style Schuldenbremse ("debt brake"). This will force the government to reduce its debt level to 60% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.
In 2009 Germany's constitution was amended to introduce the Schuldenbremse ("debt brake"), a balanced budget provision. This will apply to both the federal government and the Länder (states). From 2016 onwards the federal government will be forbidden to run a structural deficit of more than 0.35% of GDP. From 2020, the states will not be permitted to run any structural deficit at all. The Basic Law permits an exception to be made for emergencies such as a natural disaster or severe economic crisis.
Poland's constitution (adopted in 1997) caps the public debt at 60% of GDP - the government cannot take on any financial obligations that would cause that limit to be exceeded. To ensure this level is never breached, Poland has a self-imposed debt threshold of 55% of GDP, and the government must take action to balance the budget once this level is exceeded.
In 2011 the Spanish Constitution was amended to require a balanced budget at both the national and regional level. The amendment states that public debt can not exceed 60% of GDP, though exceptions would be made in case of a natural catastrophe, economic recession or other emergencies. The changes will also require the government to stick to EU annual deficit limits of 3% of GDP.
After years of rising deficits and debt in the 1990s, Switzerland's citizens adopted the debt brake as a constitutional amendment in 2001. The rule was implemented starting in 2003. It states that each year, the budget must be in balance, adjusted for economic conditions. This adjustment is made by multiplying expenditures by a cyclical factor (the ratio of trend real GDP to expected real GDP), thus either allowing for deficits during recessions or forcing lawmakers to have surpluses during booms. Essentially, the rule calls for structural balance in each year and absolute balance over the course of a business cycle. So if lawmakers want to have expansionary fiscal policy during recessions, they need to pay for it by saving up during good economic times. The rule did initially allow for "extraordinary spending" if a qualified parliamentary majority approved, but recent changes have made this spending count as normal expenditures.
North America 
United States 
U.S. States 
Every U.S. State, other than Vermont, has some form of balanced budget provision. The precise form of this provision varies from State to State. Indiana has a state debt prohibition with an exception for "temporary and casual deficits," but no balanced budget requirement. It has around $18 billion in outstanding state debt. The governor is not legally required to submit a balanced budget, the legislature is not required to approve appropriations that are within available revenue, and the state is not required to end the year in balance. An unusual variant is the Oregon kicker, which bans surpluses of more than 2% of revenue by refunding the money to the taxpayers.
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U.S. Federal Government 
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There is no balanced budget provision in the U.S. Constitution. Thus, the U.S. federal government is not required to have a balanced budget. Several amendments to the U.S. Constitution have been proposed which would require a balanced budget, but none have been passed. Most of these proposed amendments allow a supermajority to waive the requirement of a balanced budget in times of war or national emergency.
- to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of the United States, transmitting every half-year to the respective States an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted
And, with this as a model Article I, Section 8, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants to the United States Congress the power
- To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
At the time that the Constitution came into effect, the United States had a significant debt, primarily associated with the Revolutionary War. There were differences within and between the major political coalitions over the possible liquidation or increase of this debt. As early as 1798, Thomas Jefferson wrote
- I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing. I now deny their power of making paper money or anything else a legal tender. I know that to pay all proper expenses within the year would, in case of war, be hard on us. But not so hard as ten wars instead of one. For wars could be reduced in that proportion; besides that the State governments would be free to lend their credit in borrowing quotas.
(Although Jefferson made a point of seeking a balanced budget during the early years of his administration, he seems to have later reversed himself in purchasing the Louisiana Territory. But note also that he made no exception for war, but rather saw the requirement of maintaining a balanced budget as a salutary deterrent.)
The issue of the federal debt was next addressed by the Constitution within Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment (proposed on June 13, 1866 and ratified on July 9, 1868):
- The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
On May 4, 1936, Representative Harold Knutson (R-Minnesota) introduced House Joint Resolution 579, resolution in support of a Constitutional Amendment that would have placed a per capita ceiling on the federal debt in peacetime.
Article V of the Constitution specifies that if the legislatures of two-thirds of the states petition Congress for a constitutional amendment, then Congress must call a convention for proposing amendments. Between April 29, 1975 and January 29, 1980, 34 petitions from 30 different state legislatures were submitted to Congress on the subject of a Balanced Budget Amendment. The participating states were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. Since 1980, two additional state legislatures have petitioned Congress for a convention for a Balanced Budget Amendment, bringing the total number of participating states to 32. If two additional state legislatures were to petition, then the required two-thirds majority of states would be reached (34 out of 50 states) and some contend that Congress would be required to call a convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment. In December 2008, the Ohio legislature considered making Ohio the 33rd state to petition for a convention on the subject, but decided against it.
Deficit Spending 
Unlike the constitutions of most U.S. states, the United States Constitution does not actually require the United States Congress to pass a balanced budget, one in which the projected income to the government through taxes, fees, fines, and other revenues equals the amount proposed to be spent. This has led to deficit spending and the creation of a national debt. Except for a short period during the presidency of Andrew Jackson since its inception the United States federal government has always been in debt.
|1927|| 18.51||19.2||18.51||19.2||est. 96.5|
Fiscal years 1940-2009 GDP figures are derived from 2010 Office of Management and Budget figures which contained revisions of prior year figures due to significant changes from prior GDP measurements. Fiscal years 1950-2010 GDP measurements are derived from December 2010 Bureau of Economic Analysis figures which also tend to be subject to revision. The two measures in Fiscal Years 1980, 1990 and 2000-2007 diverge only slightly.
Nixon and Carter 
Deficit spending resumed under Richard Nixon, who had become president by the time that the 1969 surplus was known. Nixon's advisors chose to fight inflation rather than to maintain a balanced budget. Nixon was famously quoted as saying, "We are all Keynesians now," with regard to the budget deficit that his administration began to accumulate during years of mild recession. (He also imposed the first peacetime wage and price controls, mandatory petroleum allotments, and many other features of a planned economy).
With the distractions of the Watergate scandal and the budget deficit relatively small, however, most criticisms were sidelined until the administration of Jimmy Carter. During Carter's presidency, the term "stagflation" enjoyed widespread use as the economy stagnated even among increased inflation rates. This economic situation had been previously unheard of in the United States where increasing prices and wages had generally been seen during times of economic growth. Republicans began to make much mention of "Democratic deficits" and proposed the Balanced Budget Amendment as a cure. This was politically costless for them as long as they controlled neither house of Congress nor the Presidency, as they knew that it would not be enacted.
During this time period, many liberal Democrats began to call for a Balanced Budget Amendment, including Governor Jerry Brown of California, who ran for president against Carter in 1980, and then-Congressman Paul Simon, who, upon his election to the U.S. Senate, would write the version of the amendment that came closest to passing.
National Taxpayers Union and a Constitutional Convention 
The 1980 presidential election gave the presidency to Republican Ronald Reagan and control of the Senate to the Republicans for 3/4 of Reagan's presidency. Passage of the amendment started to seem more possible, though passage of a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress. Deficit spending soared in the 1980s. A program agreed to by Administration and Congressional leaders which was supposed to entail two dollars of spending cuts for every dollar of tax increases was an abysmal failure, and deficits soared further. It became apparent that Congress had no intention of passing the Balanced Budget Amendment.
The amendment's backers, far from despairing, said that it was needed more than ever. They began a plan to make an "end run" around Congress, for the U.S. Constitution also allows two-thirds of state legislatures to petition for a new constitutional convention to be called for the purpose of writing proposed amendments to the Constitution, a procedure which has never happened at the federal level since the original constitutional convention of 1787. Much of this effort was initially organized by the National Taxpayers Union and its President at the time, George Snyder, a former state senate majority leader. Many people were appalled at the concept; some constitutional scholars suggested that such a body could not be limited to its ostensible purpose and could largely rewrite the Constitution, perhaps removing or reducing the Bill of Rights, a fear that backers described as being totally groundless, since any proposed changes would still have to be approved by three quarters of the states, which would presumably doom any attempt to end basic constitutional freedoms.
Detractors also noted that there was no mechanism in place by which to select delegates to any such convention, meaning that the states might choose to select them in a way which tended to subvert democracy. Backers also produced their own constitutional scholars stating that limiting such a convention was perfectly constitutional, that it could be limited to whatever purpose the states had called it for, and that states would be free to select the delegates to represent them, as was the case in 1787.
By 1979, the effort to push the states to support an amendment had made serious progress with 29 of the 34 states required for a constitutional convention. An opposition effort was led by Massachusetts Lt. Governor Thomas P. O'Neill III and a group of labor and liberal cause organizations including the AFL–CIO and Common Cause.
Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act 
Perhaps motivated by the number of state legislatures calling for such a convention approaching the required two-thirds, and recognizing its inability to make sufficient cuts on its own initiative to balance the budget, Congress responded in 1985 with the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, named for its Senate sponsors, which called for automatic cuts in discretionary spending when certain deficit-reduction targets were not met. This act soon became a convenient target for opponents of all stripes, who blamed it for government failing to meet perceived needs, for not abolishing the deficit, and anything else that might be wrong with government. When it began to affect popular programs, and was partially overturned in the courts, it was first amended to postpone the strength of its effects until later years, and then repealed in its entirety.
George H. W. Bush and Ross Perot 
President George H. W. Bush, in part to help ensure Congressional support for the Gulf War, agreed to turn back on a campaign promise of no tax increases, reportedly in part because he saw disaffection from his conservative base due to the looming deficit.
Deficit spending continued, but was no longer much of an issue until the presidential bid of Ross Perot during the 1992 presidential election. Perot made the deficit, and his plans to eliminate it, the major issue of his campaign, along with his protectionist plans to reduce and then eliminate the trade deficit. Many supporters of the Balanced Budget Amendment flocked to the Perot camp. Despite winning a substantial number of popular votes, Perot failed to carry a single state (zero electoral votes). He eventually faded from the political scene and when appearances were made, focused more on the trade deficit issue.
Clinton and the budget surplus 
President Bill Clinton did not support a constitutional amendment, but in his 1992 campaign he called for balancing the budget through ordinary fiscal policy. He came into office facing a large deficit. Clinton signed into law the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which attacked the deficit by raising taxes. Beginning with the 1998 budget year, during his second term, the federal government ran a yearly budget surplus through FY 2001; however, it has been argued that this 'balanced budget' only constituted a surplus in the public debt (or on budget), in which the Treasury Department borrowed increased tax revenue from intragovernmental debt (namely the Social Security Trust Fund),thus adding more interest on Treasury bonds. In effect, the four year 'surplus' was only in public debt holdings, while the National Debt Outstanding increased every fiscal year (the lowest deficit in FY 2000 was $17.9 Billion)
In 1994, many Americans viewed reducing the deficit as one of the most important public policy objectives. To that end, in that year's Congressional election, Republicans campaigned against Clinton's tax increase and took control of both the Senate and the House. The Republican led Congress immediately engaged in a battle with President Clinton, because the President refused to sign the balanced budgets the Congress sent him. Finally, in 1995 the Republican Congress stood firm, and refused to send Clinton any budget that was not balanced. Clinton fought this for as long as he could, and vetoed the budget which resulted in a brief shutdown of the Federal government. After negotiations with both sides giving in on some changes, they could not agree on the pace of spending cuts. The Republicans eventually cut a deal with Clinton that was not much different than what they could have gotten before the shutdown. One provision of their "Contract with America" campaign document called for a balanced-budget amendment. In 1995, such an amendment passed the House of Representatives and came within one vote of passing the Senate.
Deficits under George W. Bush and Barack Obama 
A recession, tax cuts and increases in military and other spending have eliminated late 1990s-era surpluses. Both the deficit and debt grew to the largest in U.S. history, although not as a percentage of GDP. In fiscal years starting September 30, 2002 and ending September 30, 2004 the deficit increased nearly 50%.
The Bush Administration and a Republican Congress cut the amount of the yearly deficit over the next several years. Bush called the outcome for Fiscal 2006 a "dramatic reduction" that redeemed his 2004 campaign pledge to halve the deficit earlier than his original 2009 target date, despite the fact that the 2006 deficit of $536.5 billion was over 4X higher than the year Bush took office in 2001. By 2008, the last full year of Bush's presidency, the deficit had almost doubled again, for the first time exceeding $1 trillion. As a result, during the administration of President George W. Bush, the gross debt increased from $5.7 trillion in January 2001 to $10.7 trillion by December 2008, rising from 57.0% of GDP to 74.5% of GDP.
By the end of 2008, a large reduction in tax revenues caused by the Great Recession and the cost of federal stimulus spending began contributing to a rapidly increasing deficit. Responses to the crisis from both the Bush administration -- the bank bailouts and economic stimulus of late 2008 -- and more stimulus spending in the first months of the Obama administration grew the deficit further. By the end of 2009 it reached a record $1.9 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March 2009 that under the Obama administration public debt would rise from 40.8% of GDP in 2008 to 70.1% in 2012. Gross debt did rise to 84.5% of GDP at the end of Fiscal Year 2009 and to 93.5% of GDP at the end of Fiscal Year 2010.
|Fiscal year (begins
10/01 of prev. year)
|% of GDP||Total debt||% of GDP|
|1994||$281.0 billion||4.0%||$4.70 trillion||67.3%|
|1995||$281.5 billion||3.8%||$4.95 trillion||67.8%|
|1996||$251.0 billion||3.2%||$5.20 trillion||67.7%|
|1997||$188.5 billion||2.3%||$5.40 trillion||65.9%|
|1998||$113.0 billion||1.3%||$5.55 trillion||63.8%|
|1999||$130.0 billion||1.4%||$5.65 trillion||61.4%|
|2000||$18.0 billion||0.2%||$5.65 trillion||57.8%|
|2001||$133.5 billion||1.3%||$5.80 trillion||56.8%|
|2002||$421.0 billion||4.0%||$6.25 trillion||59.1%|
|2003||$555.0 billion||5.1%||$6.80 trillion||61.8%|
|2004||$596.0 billion||5.1%||$7.40 trillion||63.1%|
|2005||$553.5 billion||4.4%||$7.95 trillion||63.7%|
|2006||$536.5 billion||4.1%||$8.50 trillion||64.3%|
|2007||$500.5 billion||3.6%||$9.00 trillion||64.8%|
|2008||$1,017 billion||7.1%||$10.0 trillion||69.6%|
|2009||$1,885 billion||13.4%||$11.9 trillion||84.5%|
|2010||$1,652 billion||11.4%||$13.6 trillion||93.5%|
|2011||$1,316 billion||8.2%||$15.2 trillion||96.5%|
|2012||$1,327 billion||8.4%||$16.3 trillion||~104%|
During the 2011 US debt ceiling crisis, some Republicans supported a bill that would avert the crisis by raising the debt ceiling, but with an increase that would not take effect until a balanced-budget amendment was approved by both houses of Congress and submitted to the states. In addition to balancing the budget, it would also impose a constitutional limit on federal spending as a percentage of gross domestic product and would set a supermajority requirement on tax increases. The Budget Control Act of 2011, which resolved the debt-ceiling crisis, required Congress to vote on a balanced-budget amendment in the near future.
On November 18, 2011 the House of Representatives voted down a balanced-budget amendment that would not have imposed a supermajority requirement on tax increases. House Rules Committee chair David Dreier (R-CA), who had voted for the amendment in 1995, announced that he had changed his mind about the need to amend the Constitution, in light of the success in balancing the budget in the late 1990s.
Historically as a political issue, the deficit, national debt, and the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment have ebbed and flowed in levels of discussion and the proposed amendment has varied greatly in level of support. The modern discussion of the issue seems to have been started by the Republican Party in response to the "guns and butter" policies of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who simultaneously announced his desires for "Great Society" social programs while prosecuting the Vietnam War. Johnson also pushed for Congressional enactment of a surtax as well as other tax increases which allowed him to leave office in 1969 with a balanced budget (plus a small surplus) on the books. This was the last time the United States would see a balanced budget until 1999.
Many Keynesian economics and Neo Keynesian economics economists believe that, while a large federal deficit has an adverse effect on the economy, deficit spending has significant benefits in times of recession. In 2003, approximately 90% of the members of the American Economic Association agreed with the statement, "If the federal budget is to be balanced, it should be done over the course of the business cycle, rather than yearly." A reason cited by several leading economists is that a "balanced budget amendment would mandate perverse actions in the face of recessions" by requiring spending cuts that would aggravate the recession. As one example, the private forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers LLC addressed the effect of balancing the federal budget for 2012, in the wake of the late-2000s recession: "Then, instead of forecasting real GDP growth of 2% or so for FY 2012, we'd mark that projection down to perhaps -12% and raise our forecast of the unemployment rate from 9% to 16%, or roughly 11 million fewer jobs." Furthermore, the resulting loss of tax revenue and increase in mandatory spending would require additional cuts in discretionary spending that would cause a loss of four million more jobs.
The amendment has been called "political posturing" because its proponents use it to position themselves as supporters of a balanced budget but without specifying any unpopular tax increases or spending cuts that they would support to reach that goal. For example, Robert Bixby of the anti-deficit Concord Coalition called the amendment "an avoidance device."
It has been argued that such amendment would likely be unenforceable. Among other reasons, the standard budgetary process in the United States operates with projected figures. There is no way of knowing ahead of time whether the budget would end up unbalanced in any fiscal year, before that fiscal year is over. While the Congress may be mandated by the amendment only to pass balanced budgets, this could be easily circumvented by inflating revenue projections, or routing spending through off-budget channels. Balanced Budget Amendment proposals often contain an exemption for emergencies such as being in the state of war. It could be envisioned that the Congress would simply declare the country in a perpetual state of war, year after year, just to avoid the necessity of politically costly spending cuts or tax increases.
See also 
- Keynesian economics
- Keynesian economics in United States 2008
- Deficit spending
- George Snyder
- Golden Rule (fiscal policy)
- Österreich: Die Schuldenbremse quietscht
- Germany's Schuldenbremse
- See: , , .
- Text of Polish Constitution
- Polish Government Debt Yields Nearing Critical Level, Central Banker Says
- State Balanced Budget Requirements: Provisions and Practice, Ronald K. Snell, 1996; updated 2004
- Dan Fuller and Doris Geide-Stevenson, "Consensus among Economists Revisited," Journal of Economic Education, Fall 2003, pp. 369–387.
- Jefferson, Thomas; Letter to John Taylor of Caroline, November 26, 1798; reproduced in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson v. 10, edited by Lipscomb and Bergh.
- House Joint Resolution 579, 74th Congress, 2d session; reproduced in Report 105-3, 105th Congress, 1st session, February 3, 1997, pp. 3–7.
- Istook, Ernest. Considering a Balanced Budget Amendment: Lessons from History, The Heritage Foundation, July 14, 2011.
- The Executive Office of the President of the United States, Office of Management and Budget (February 1, 2010). "Federal debt at the end of year: 1940-2015"; "Gross domestic product and deflators used in the historical tables: 1940–2015" Budget of the United States Government: Fiscal Year 2011: Historical Tables, pp. 134-135, 210-211. Government Printing Office [website]. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
- Frank H. Vizetelly, Litt.D., LL.D., ed. (1931). "DEBT, National". New Standard Encyclopedia of Universal Knowledge. Eight. "New York and London": Funk and Wagnalls Company. p. 471. "Debt of Principal Nations and Aggregate for All Nations of the World at Various Dates (in millions of dollars): '1928........18,510'"
- "Constitutional Amendment Drive on Balanced Budget Pushed Anew," Adam Clymer, The New York Times. 6 March 1981.
- "Working Against a Balanced Budget Convention," Richard E. Cohen. The National Journal. 21 April 1979.
- "Deficit Worries Threaten Bush Agenda". Washington Post, Feb. 7, 2005.
- "Lessons from the great government shutdown of 1995-1996". The Washington Post.
- Pizzigati, Sam (2004) , Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming the Inequality That Limits Our Lives, The Apex Press, pp. 450–51, ISBN 978-1-891843-25-9
- Spitzer, Eliot (February 7, 2011), "The Republicans' Economic Triumph", Slate, retrieved 2011-11-19
- "REPUBLICAN CONTRACT WITH AMERICA". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Bureau of Economic Analysis: Gross Domestic Product; December 2010 revision
- Debt Held by the Public & Intragovernmental Holdings; accessed January 8, 2011
- United States Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt (December 2010). "The debt to the penny and who holds it". TreasuryDirect. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
- United States Congress, Congressional Budget Office (March 2009). "Table 1-1: Comparison of Projected Revenues, Outlays, and Deficits in CBO’s March 2009 Baseline and CBO’s Estimate of the President’s Budget." A Preliminary Analysis of the President's Budget and an Update of CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook, p. 2. Congressional Budget Office [website]. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
- Congressional Research Service. "Bill Summary & Status, 112th Congress (2011 - 2012), H.R.2560, CRS Summary". THOMAS. Retrieved 2011-07-22.[dead link]
- Matthews, Dylan (July 7, 2011). "New balanced budget amendment, not the same as the old balanced budget amendment". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
- Millhiser, Ian (November 18, 2011). "Rep. Paul Ryan Votes Against Balanced Budget Amendment Because It Doesn't Ruin The Constitution Enough". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- Millhiser, Ian (November 17, 2011). "Key GOP Committee Chair To Vote Against Balanced Budget Amendment". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- Hoover, Kenneth R. (2008). Economics as Ideology. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-7425-3113-9.
- Skidelsky, Robert (2003). John Maynard Keynes, 1883–1946: Economist, Philosopher, Statesman. Pan MacMillan Ltd. ISBN 0-330-48867-8.
- "Nobel Laureates and Leading Economists Oppose Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment" (Press release). Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. July 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Man Up: AJ(obs)A vs. J(obs)TGA". Macroeconomic Advisers LLC. October 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Dodge, Catherine; Laura Litvan (July 18, 2011). "Republicans Pushing Budget Balance Won't Deliver Details on How". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- "Balanced Budget Amendment a 'Phony' Deficit Solution".
- S.J.Res. 58, a proposed Balanced Budget Amendment approved by the U.S. Senate on August 4, 1982
- H.J.Res. 1, a proposed Balanced Budget Amendment approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on January 25, 1995
- H.R.2560 — Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011 – Full Text, a proposed Cap and Balance Budget Amendment approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 19, 2011
- Balanced28th.org Another proposed wording of Balanced Budget Amendment
- Read Cato's Policy Analysis and Proposal of the Balanced Budget Veto Amendment
- Americans for a Balanced Budget Amendment
- Pass The Balanced Budget Amendment
- Senator Paul Simon Papers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale Special Collections Research Center
- Cut, Cap, and Balance Act
- Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force
- Switzerland’s “Debt Brake” Is a Role Model for Spending Control and Fiscal Restraint