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“Article V 2.0” in a Nutshell: The Balanced Budget Compact

February 15, 2016

A policy brief on Compact for America's Balanced Budget Amendment.

The U.S. gross federal debt is approaching $20 trillion. That figure is:

  • more than twice what was owed ($8.6 trillion) in
    2006, when the then-junior U.S. senator from Illinois,
    Barack Obama, opposed lifting the federal
    debt limit
  • nearly as big a percentage of the American
    economy (103+ percent of Gross Domestic
    Product) as during the height of World War II;3
    and
  • nearly $160,000 per taxpayer.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg, with unfunded federal liabilities estimated at $205 trillion. The burden is daunting. But what if states could advance and ratify a powerful federal balanced budget amendment in as few as 12 months? That could happen now that the “Compact for a
Balanced Budget” exists between Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi and North Dakota. The Compact establishes a binding commitment to fix the national debt, spanning the nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific. That commitment means business: the Compact advances a uniquely powerful, yet plausible federal Balanced Budget Amendment.