Hard Going for the Easy Part

The popular balanced-budget bill was to be a sure winner, but attacks from all over may bog it down

IN THE ABSTRACT, IT'S AN IDEA THAT wins every popularity contest. A public- opinion poll recorded an 80% majority in favor of amending the Constitution to force a balanced federal budget. Bill Clinton had to twist every Democratic arm in sight to block passage of the 1994 version of such an amendment, and even then it failed to get through the Senate by only four votes. Now the Republican majorities in House and Senate have designated the amendment Resolution No. 1, putting it at the top of the agenda. The White House and its congressional allies have been reduced to guerrilla...

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