Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spending Limit–Balanced Budget Amendment

A spending limit-balanced budget amendment is not an impossible pipe dream.

The Basic Law (mini-constitution) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and that of Macao provides for a spending limit balanced budget.  The text appears in Chapter V, Article 107.

“The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall follow the principle of keeping expenditure within the limits of revenues in drawing up its budget, and strive to achieve a fiscal balance, avoid deficits, and keep the budget commensurate with the growth rate of its gross domestic product.”

Article 108 requires that the HKSAR shall enact tax legislation “taking the low tax policy previously pursued in Hong Kong as reference,...” 

The proprietor of Thoughtful Ideas wrote several articles on the Spending Limit–Balanced Budget Amendment three decades ago.  These include:

Chapter 4,”Tax and Spending Limits,” The United States in the 1980s.  1980

In this essay, TI proposed an amendment to balance the federal budget and limit federal spending similar in spirit to the current House Republican "cut, cap, and balance" plan.

“A Compelling Case for a Constitutional Amendment to Balance the Budget and Limit Taxes 1982

Including a flat tax in the amendment would greatly enhance the proposal.  Call it a spending limit-flat tax-balanced budget amendment.

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