A balanced-budget amendment

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On April 7, a Sun Journal front page headline read “ Democrats question balanced-budget bill.” The article noted it was “a move that immediately drew criticism on the campaign trail” of U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who favored an upcoming vote on a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Instead of criticism, Poliquin should be praised for his common sense. Maine has a constitutional requirement for a balanced budget, why shouldn’t the federal government?

The public has seen how undisciplined 435 representatives and 100 senators are with their spending habits. They spend billions more than the country has and then need to borrow funds from foreign countries. The United States has already borrowed more than $20 trillion. Borrowed money carries an obligation to repay it, and an expense called interest.

Can anyone imagine being in favor of continued spending more than they have and borrowing the difference? That method of operating the government has a disastrous endpoint.

Democrats don’t seem to ever have a problem with continuing excessive spending; however, there is blame to be shared by some Republicans. That is why Mainers need fiscal conservatives to represent them.

It is difficult for federal politicians to say “no” to pressure from their constituents for expensive, federally funded projects. Politicians want to be re-elected. That speaks to the need for an amendment for federal term limits — a fight for another day.

Thomas Shields, Auburn

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