Letter to Members of the House of Representatives Supporting the Proposed Constitutional Amendment for a Balanced Federal Budget

October 1, 1982

Dear Barber: (Dear Ed:)

On this historic occasion -- the consideration of the House of Representatives of H.J. Res. 350 -- I want to express my support for your bipartisan, joint resolution, the Balanced Budget/Tax Limitation Amendment to the Constitution. I know that an overwhelming majority of the American people share our view.

I have long supported, at both the state and Federal levels of government, a Constitutional approach to fiscal responsibility that would not only provide balanced budgets but would also limit the share of the nation's product the government could take in taxes. We must control not only the deficit, but also the overall levels of spending and taxes.

H.J. Res. 350 is designed to accomplish these two objectives -- balancing the budget and limiting taxes. It is the result of years of work and careful attention to detail. It provides enough flexibility to enable the Congress to deal with unexpected events, but at the same time its provisions are enforceable.

I know that you will do everything in your power to impress upon your colleagues that now is not the time to be sidetracked by the eleventh hour gimmick invented by the House leadership. As you well know, the so-called Alexander substitute is not a credible, enforceable amendment. It does not require the Congress or the President to take any action to achieve a balanced budget. This transparent device is designed to mislead the American people and sabotage the long, difficult struggle to impose permanent constitutional discipline on the spending and tax decisions of government.

The Senate has already passed the Balanced Budget/Tax Limitation Amendment to the Constitution, and I urge its adoption in the House of Representatives as well.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Representatives Barber B. Conable, Jr., of New York and Edgar L. Jenkins of Georgia.