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Balanced Budget Amendment: The Change We Can't Believe In


Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. issued the following statement upon hearing of the President's invitation to House and Senate Leadership to meet on the impending debt ceiling negotiations:

"As Leaders of both parties converge at the White House to discuss raising the debt ceiling, I urge participants from either side of the aisle to act responsibly, and desist in any consideration of including the Balanced Budget Amendment within the compromise.

"This proposal mandates strict spending caps as a percentage of GDP and provides a faulty and short-sighted solution, denying the reality that our nation has more than a spending problem. The Balanced Budget is an optical illusion, masquerading as the perfect answer to our budget woes, while in reality will threaten to permanently destroy our fragile economic recovery.

"The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Citizens for Tax Justice have both advised that a federally mandated balanced budget would:

* Damage the economy by making recessions deeper and more frequent;
* Heighten the risk of default and jeopardize the full faith and credit of the US government;
* Lead to reductions in needed investments for the future;
* Favor wealthy Americans over middle- and low-income Americans by making it far more difficult to raise revenues and easier to cut programs;
* And weaken the principle of majority rule.

"These five faults clearly demonstrate that the Balanced Budget Amendment is a reckless and negligent effort to avoid the real problems of our nation, that will permanently harm our poor, youth, and elderly. The President and Congress have an obligation to protect the social safety net programs our nation's middle-class families rely on, and must do more to make investments that promote long-term growth in education, infrastructure and development."

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