by Stuart MacPhail October 2019
Ohio Sen. Huffman Calls for Convention to Address Debt –
In an early September speech to a Lima Ohio Optimist Club, State Senator Matt Huffman peppered his talk with historical trivia about the nation’s founding and a history lesson on the Constitution. He ended with a warning about America’s future.
Talking about the federal debt, Huffman said, “The debt has grown exponentially since Sept. 11, 2001, since 18 years ago. It didn’t just happen under President Trump. It didn’t just happen under President Obama. It really started under President George Bush, the second. … Eventually, what will happen is the federal government won’t be able to pay for the things that they are paying for right now.”
“There’s no plan for the federal government to deal with the national debt. There is no plan,” Huffman said. “It doesn’t matter if we have Democrats in control or Republicans in control because it’s the same group of people making lots of money from Washington.”
Huffman told his audience his preferred solution is a major convention organized by the states to offer a balanced budget amendment. He stressed that the states need the federal government to stay in business, and that his proposal could bring spending back into control without relying on the “guys and gals who are all in charge of the money and power in Washington”.
Senator Huffman also opined: “There are a lot of things that should be in our Constitution. The president should be able to have a line item veto, in my opinion. The federal government should not be able to dictate terms for accepting federal money in certain programs. Some people want to abolish the electoral college. Some people want to overturn Citizens United … For my money, if 38 of the 50 states thinks it’s a good idea, then we should do that. That’s the only real opportunity.”
In a related story, a mid-September interview with The Columbia Daily Herald, US Senator Martha Blackburn (TN) reported on conversations she had just completed with local business leaders.
“They are concerned about the federal debt and want us to use this as a time to get it down. Just about everyone in the room supported a balanced budget amendment. This is a group of people who understand that the county’s [credit] rating is important, and the state’s rating is important. They want the federal government to start working the debt down and not passing it along to our grandchildren.”
Another related report by GovTrack Insider on September 11, told about The Budgetary Accuracy in Scoring Interest Costs (BASIC) Act that would require any federal governmental spending or budget projections made by the Congressional Budget Office or Joint Committee on Taxation must include costs related to interest on the national debt.
By way of context, the federal deficit was $779 billion last year. It is projected to rise to $960 billion this year. On its current path, the deficit will exceed $1 trillion annually for the next decade.
Interest owed for the national debt is also increasing. Interest on the debt was $325 billion last year. It’s projected to rise to $372 billion this year. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) currently projects that by a decade from now, in 2029, a single year of interest expense will be $807 billion. The report suggests that to put it another way, a decade from now, interest on the deficit alone will be higher than the entire deficit was last year.
The House version of the proposed act (HR 3979) has attracted just two cosponsors. It awaits a potential vote in either the House Rules or House Budget Committee. The Senate version (S 2435) has also just attracted two cosponsors. It awaits a potential vote in the Senate Budget Committee. The bills are given zero chance of passage. See this report HERE