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Letter to Republican Leaders of the House of Representatives Concerning the Proposed Constitutional Amendment for a Balanced Federal Budget

October 1, 1982

Dear Bob: (Dear Trent:)

I want to take this opportunity to express my full support for H.J. Res. 350, the Balanced Budget/Tax Limitation Amendment to the Constitution.

H.J. Res. 350 is the result of years of work and attention to detail. It is carefully drafted to achieve both the objectives I have always considered essential for such a Constitutional amendment -- balanced budgets and a limitation on the share of the nation's product the government can take in taxes. Only by this combination of provisions can we control both deficits and spending.

I understand that a substitute for H.J. Res. 350 will be offered in the House of Representatives -- a substitute requiring only that the executive and the Congress plan for a balanced budget on paper. H.J. Res. 350 provides strong enforcement provisions to ensure actual spending does not exceed planned levels and that a balanced budget is achieved -- not merely projected. By contrast, the proposed substitute contains no enforcement requirement whatsoever and fails to limit future growth of tax burdens on the American people.

In short, it is a transparent device designed to mislead the public and permits spending deficits and taxes to rise unimpeded.

It is my hope that the House of Representatives will -- as the Senate has -- keep faith with the overwhelming majority of Americans who want a meaningful, credible, and effective amendment. Among the choices before the House of Representatives, only H.J. Res. 350 will place enforceable restraints on Federal spending and Federal taxation. There is no more significant step we can take for the nation's long-term economic health and prosperity than to approve this historic measure.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel and House Minority Whip Trent Lott.