Since Congress won’t fix the problem, Americans want a Constitutional amendment to protect them from Congress. A new Sachs/Mason-Dixon Poll released by the Daily Caller this afternoon finds that almost two out of every three Americans (65%) support a constitutional amendment that would require the budget to be balanced every year.
“Americans are concerned about our nation’s deepening deficit and as a result, an overwhelming number support a balanced budget amendment,” said Alia Faraj-Johnson, Partner and Executive Vice President of Ron Sachs Communications. “Candidates from both parties would be wise to support the measure, which will help keep Congress’ spending in check and ensure our government is tightening its belt, like many American families.”
Support for the Amendment is wide-spread; Republicans (81%) and Independents (68%) support an amendment. As expected Democrats are more reluctant to give up their “political crack,” but still slightly more 45% support the amendment than oppose it.
A balanced budget amendment would put the federal government on the same footing as most of the state budgets. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures 45 of the 50 states have a constitutional provision requiring that the budget be balanced each year. Four states are required to have a balanced budget by statute only (and we know how easy it is to amend statutes). One state, Vermont has neither.
The survey also reports that 46% of Americans would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports a balanced budget amendment while 21% indicated they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate.
Just as with the first question there are vast differences depending on party affiliation. Only 21% of Democrats would be more likely to support such a candidate (versus 37% who would be less likely), 64% of Republicans would be more likely (versus 7% less likely) and 51% of Independents (versus 19%).
Two things could be gleaned from these results. First the American people are serious they want the country to find a way to dig out of the budgetary hole we created by over spending. The second point is for potential GOP presidential candidates. Unless a particular candidate is hoping to get most of its votes from the opposition party, there is no downside to supporting a balanced budget amendment, Republicans and Independents both will be more likely to vote for a candidate supporting the amendment.
American’s simply do not trust politicians to fix the problem themselves, only through an amendment to the Constitution will our leaders be forced to deal with the hard choices that need to be made.