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Demand for balanced federal budget – demagoguery or good for democracy?

by Dara Kam | April 15th, 2010

A proposed statewide referendum that wouldn’t really do anything to balance any budget but would send a statement to Congress generated a lot of heat in the House Rules committee this morning.

“Basically House memorials are meaningless. They’re like toilet paper,” House Democratic leader Ron Saunders said of the proposal.

The “nonbinding statewide advisory referendum,” pushed by GOP leaders including Senate President Jeff Atwater and already passed by the Senate, would ask voters the following question:

In order to stop the uncontrolled growth of our national debt and prevent excessive borrowing by the Federal Government, which threatens jobs, robs America and our children of their opportunity for success, and threatens our national security, should the United States Constitution be amended to require a balanced federal budget without raising taxes?

“This sends a message today that federal spending is out of control and we need to have a balance,” House budget chief David Rivera, R-Miami, told the Rules Committee this morning.

But Saunders and other Dems objected to the strongly-worded proposal as election-year “propaganda,” “incendiary” and “hypocritical” because lawmakers raised millions of dollars in drivers “fees” and cigarette taxes to balance the budget last year.

“The language here is unnecessary and just an opportunity to demagogue,” said Saunders, D-Key West, who offered an amendment changing the language to “Should the U.S. Constitution be amended to require a balanced federal budget?”

His amendment failed, and the referendum passed along partisan lines.

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5 Responses to “Demand for balanced federal budget – demagoguery or good for democracy?”

  1. SLANT ALERT Says:

    The first sentence in the “article” is…”A proposed statewide referendum that wouldn’t really do anything to balance any budget.” How do you know it won’t do anything? That is your OPINION, not a fact. Even if it just got people to THINK about balancing a budget, it did something. When did journalism become just slanted opinions? How about you deliver the news without your bullsh1t opinions.

  2. Merv Says:

    couldn’t agree more, no more slanting, biased reporting. Give us the facts, then we’ll decide on our own.

    Just can’t trust the one-sided ‘reporting’. We need to fix the schools of ‘journalism’.

  3. Exnjcop Says:

    The negative tone of this “article” is unwarranted. If people aren’t given some avenues to non-violently express their extreme frustration with Congressional spending it’s going to get ugly. Just wait until the tax increases hit if you think people are ticked now. STOP spending money on entitlements, illegals, bigger government programs, more pay for bureaucrats, etc, etc.

  4. Laughable Says:

    Would you really expect anything more from the Florida legislature and its “leaders” like Jeff Atwater? While railing against federal spending, Atwater and company, were busy accepting federal dollars to bailout this state’s budget so they would not have to make the tough decisions about raising revenue from the people of this state and own up to it at election time. So here is the logic, while encouraging the “uncontrolled growth of our national debt” by demanding and taking federal dollars to assist their troubled state budget, Atwater and other said clowns are also trying to score points by having a non-binding referendum to rail against federal spending. This is a blatant insult to the intelligence of the voting public.

  5. mike Says:

    this is just more of the same meaningless political hackery that has been going on for years. its ok to overspend to go to war, but not to help those that cant help themselves. all elected officials need to be voted out in november.

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