Balanced Budget

“Don’t Bankrupt America”

  • The U.S. debt is 6.5x the federal revenue
  • Politicians in Washington are borrowing irresponsibly and leaving the next generation with the bill
  • Members of Congress can’t impose fiscal discipline themselves
  • 70% of Americans agree that we need a Balanced Budget Amendment

What is the Balanced Budget Amendment?

From the Peter G Peterson Foundation:

"In its simplest form, a balanced budget amendment would add a budget rule to the Constitution that would require federal spending not to exceed federal receipts. The amendment would make it unconstitutional for the federal government to run annual budget deficits."

  • A requirement that the President submit a balanced budget to the Congress;
  • Provisions that allow some flexibility in times of war or economic recession provided that a supermajority (typically three-fifths) of the members of the Congress vote in favor of a waiver
  • A provision requiring a supermajority vote of both houses of Congress in order to raise the debt ceiling
  • A cap on total spending (as a percentage of gross domestic product or GDP) unless waived by a supermajority of both houses
  • A limit on the total level of revenues (as a percentage of GDP) unless waived by a supermajority of both houses
  • A provision to prevent the courts from enforcing the amendment through tax increases
  • A provision assigning the Congress the responsibility to enforce the amendment through legislation

The Solution

  • Congress is too divided and dysfunctional to propose a balanced budget amendment
  • But... three times in American History, starting with the Bill of Rights, States have forced Congress to propose an amendment states want

How Can 2/3 of States Force Congress to Propose an Amendment?

  • State legislators in 2/3 of the States can agree on the text of a specific amendment and demand that Congress propose it.
  • Congress will propose the Amendment because it will do almost anything to avoid a Article V Convention that would be more powerful than Congress

How Does Article V Work?

  • There are 2 ways to Amend the Constitution
  •  2/3 of Congress can propose an Amendment
  • 2/3 of States can force Congress to call a Convention that can propose an Amendment

Can We Get 2/3 of the States To Agree?

  • 31 States have Republican majorities in the legislature
  • 7 States have a Republican majorities in one chamber
  • 28 of the 34 states required have already passed resolutions to pass the amendment

7 Steps Required for a States-Initiated Amendment

  1. 2/3 of the State call for a convention
  2. Majority vote of Congress calls the Convention  218 (House)/60 votes (Senate)
  3. About 2 1/2 years of litigation over Rules
  4. States decide how to select and elect Delegates
  5. Article V Convention held to propose one or more Amendments
  6. Congress decides whether State Legislatures or Conventions must ratify the Amendment
  7. Either 3/4 of States Legislatures or 3/4 of State Conventions ratify

How to Get Media attention

With a team of young leaders (ideally including at least one per state) we can attract the attention, first, of the conservative media, and potentially of the mainstream media as well

  • We recruit 500-1000 advocates
    • Each willing to send 1 email/make 1 call to a State Legislator
  • We build a team who meet regularly on a national conference call
  • We make a video showing people why we, the youth, care and what makes us conservative



Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform
Ted Cruz, US Senator & Former Solicitor General of Texas
David Keene, Chair of the American Conservative Union
David McIntosh, Co-Founder of the Federalist Society
Lew Uhler, President of the National Tax Limitation Committee
Bob Williams, President of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Charlie Black, Former Chair of the McCain 2008 Campaign
David Norcross, Former Counsel to the Republican National Committee


Noble Ellington (LA) 2011 Chair of ALEC
Dolores Mertz (IA) Past Chair of ALEC
Bill Raggio (NV) Past Chair of ALEC
Steve Rauschenberger (IL) Past Chair of NCSL
Kim Koppelman (ND) Past Chair of CSG
Jeff Wentworth (TX) Past Chair of CSG South
Trey Grayson (KY) Past Chair of NASS & Kentucky Secretary of State
Becky Lockhart, (UT) Utah State Representative


Charles Downs (D.C.) Madison Coalition & Free American Media
Will Donahue (CA) Free American Media
Kadie Thomas (MO) Free American Media
Dylan Lyons (TX) Free American Media
Stephen Miller (OH) Free American Media
Drew Alcorn (WA) Free American Media
Kendall Colletti (CA) Free American Media
Justin Begley (NY) Free American Media
Grayson Wolf (MS) Free American Media
Grant Adams (SC) Free American Media
Kaitlin Lowe (CA) Free American Media
Quinn Eibert (CA) Free American Media
Nathan Beshai (CA)
Michael Reza (CA)
Stephanie Morikawa (NV)
Sydney Schultz (CA)
Wyatt Payne (NC)
Clayton Payne (NC)
Samuel Nevarez (CA)
Lexy Heflin (TN)
Lane Spell (MS)

What Can You Do?

  • Agree to become an advocate
  • Talk to or forward an email to your friends
  • Participate in our National Conference call
  • Write/Blog about Don't Bankrupt America
  • Fill out this form:

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