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November 27, 2023

I hope you and your family are recovering from the caloric overload you experienced on Thanksgiving Day.  Now you have piles of leftovers and lots of uneaten turkey but be creative!

Turkey gumbo is one of our favorites, and my Louisiana-born wife did get the know-how from her mother.  And turkey salad is great as is turkey chili, turkey tacos, or grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches.  It’s a simple matter of taking what you have and making something good from it.

I believe we ought to run the government somewhat like what we do in dealing with Thanksgiving Day leftovers.  Instead of whining about the government we wish we had, use the one we have but be creative in making it work. 

Instead of continuing to borrow ridiculous sums of money and boosting the national debt higher than the Sears Tower, take the money we actually have collected and limit our budget and spending to that amount.  It’s what American families do every month.  It’s what small business owners do to stay in business.  And it’s what 49 of the 50 governors do with their state budgets that law requires them to balance each year.  It’s not easy, but neither is it impossible.  It’s why I’m on the board of the Balanced Budget Amendment Committee, comprised of several former and current governors and senators, and business leaders who are fed up with debts piling up with no responsible plan whatsoever to pay them back.  I have little to no hope that Congress will ever impose a balance budget amendment upon themselves, but it doesn’t leave the American people powerless to make a change.

There is a provision in our Constitution that allows for the people to propose and pass an amendment to the Constitution.  Doing it to force Congress to do what every individual and business has to do is not too much to ask.  It’s not an easy process and it shouldn’t be, but it’s become a necessary one. 

The Balanced Budget Committee has already cleared over 30 state legislatures and is very close to the number of states required to pass it in order to then get it ratified and voted on by the citizens to make it the law of the land.

This is not a Democrat or a Republican issue.  No citizen regardless of party affiliation should want to see our nation slide into bankruptcy because of reckless spending often done in order to buy votes by a showy and extravagant spending bill.  Spending money we don’t have and borrowing money we can’t afford to pay back hurts every American, but especially younger Americans who are the recipients of the burdensome debt long after there will be any benefit to their generation.

I hope you’ll be vocal in supporting the Balanced Budget Amendment and equally vocal to your Congressmen and Senators in asking them to support a federal mandate to balance the budget just like it currently exists in 49 of the 50 states.  As a Governor, I would have been breaking the law if I led the state in spending money beyond the budget and the revenues we had.  It was sometimes unpopular to have to make cuts to budget items when the economy was in a recession, but the law forced us to be responsible and not obligate future generations for spending money for which there would be no benefit to those future generations.

In the meantime, I would propose that Congress pass a law that withholds Congressional paychecks until Congress passes a budget and certifies it’s a budget balanced to actual revenues.  It’s the way the real world works.  And it’s time Congress is forced to live and work in the REAL world like the rest of us!


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