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Positions on whether the Constitution should be amended to require a balanced budget reflect opposing views about whether such an amendment would be an appropriate solution to the problem of persistent federal deficits and growing federal debt.
Proponents of a constitutional amendment hold the view that future generations have a right to be protected from debts accumulated by earlier generations. Because the Congress and President seem unwilling or unable to rein in the debt through normal legislative procedures, they argue that only a constitutional constraint will be strong enough to rein in lawmakers' tendency to act in fiscally irresponsible ways.
Opponents to a constitutional amendment argue that it would limit the ability of future policymakers to use fiscal policy to counteract recessions or respond to national emergencies. Moreover, they argue that the cause of our fiscal imbalances is a lack of political will, not an inadequate process.
Should we force the Government to have a balanced budget?