Balancing the Budget by Decree

A proposed amendment would let politicians have it both ways

It is an idea whose time has clearly come, at least for politicians in an election year. It is also an idea that makes many economists, constitutional scholars and other Americans shudder. The idea: an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring that the federal budget be balanced each year. Before the summer is over, there is a strong chance that Congress will take the first steps toward incorporating this elusive goal into the basic law of the land.

The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote...

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