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The Balanced Budget Amendment: Not Ready for Prime Time

Bruce Bartlett


July 11, 2011

Tax Notes, Vol. 132, No. 2, 2011

The proposed balanced budget amendment is actually a spending limitation amendment. It would limit federal spending to 18 percent of GDP. This article argues that using GDP to calculate the maximum amount of spending is grossly inappropriate, especially for a constitutional amendment, because the term is nowhere defined in law, nor could it be because it is constantly being revised for both technical and conceptual reasons. Furthermore, there is no practical way of enforcing a balanced budget amendment.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 3

Keywords: balanced budget amendment, gross domestic product

JEL Classification: H10, H50, H60

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Date posted: July 11, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Bartlett, Bruce, The Balanced Budget Amendment: Not Ready for Prime Time (July 11, 2011). Tax Notes, Vol. 132, No. 2, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1883491 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1883491

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Bruce Bartlett (Contact Author)
Independent ( email )
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