The constitutional ammendment that the tea partyers are pushing would seem to put the country in a state like California's current budget woes. They have a no new taxes without a super-majority law which has resulted in pork for the constituents and no real way to pay for them.
Montana did do it smart and that has showed. I'm of the opinion that our balanced budget, lack of sales tax, as well as resource royalties are what have let this state go through the recession in better shape than others.
However, at the federal level a moderate amount of debt can actually be beneficial to the country as a whole. It provides a safe place to store wealth. However what we have now is, while still a moderate amount of debt (%60 GDP) it is growing fast and reaching the point where it will accelerate out of control. The solution is simple, let the Bush tax cuts expire, readjust Social Security so the tax brackets resemble the same percentiles of the population that it did 30 years ago, and the not so simple debate about rationing care. Healthcare is already rationed but instead of explicit and reasonable rationing measures, it is done in an unclear and often unfair way.
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