A balance budget is critical to the future of America. It's good that most cities, counties, and states have Balance Budget Amendments that constricts government from making imprudent decisions, overspending, and unnecessary expenditures. Further to this point, all governments should be transparent in their spending and in their revenue receipts. The population has an absolute right to know how much money is being collected and where that money is going. Without this critical information, an informed decision by the public is not possible. While we do count on our representatives to provide for our best interests, a crosscheck to the activities and expenditures of government agencies is our right as taxpaying citizens.
At any particular time a city, county, or state may have a shortfall or surplus to their budget. While a surplus sounds like a good thing, that isn't always true if it encourages indiscriminate spending for current or future projects in which the need has not yet been demonstrated. Saving surplus funds for a "rainy day" or investing at least a portion of these funds is a prudent thing to do. In regards to deficits, an immediate trimming of government expenditures must be affected or the problem(s) can easily compound on itself. Contingency plans are wise as shortfalls in regards to revenues are often foreseen throughout the year through projections based on historic norms.
Unfortunately, the above mainly addresses our cities, counties, and state governments and not our Federal government. According to treasurydirect.gov our Federal Government deficit first crossed over the one trillion dollar mark on 9/30/1982. Thirty years later it crossed over the sixteen trillion dollar mark which is an astonishing amount of federal debt created in an incredibly short period of time in which we the citizens of the United States are responsible for paying it. None of this could have occurred if we had a Balance Budget Amendment to our Constitution.
Our Federal Government has demonstrated that it is incapable of even attempting to balance our budget, so without a Balance Budget Amendment, our deficits will continue to widen and to increase. A candid look at our present situation suggests that we are in all probability beyond the point of return but we owe to ourselves, and just as importantly we owe to future generations, yet unborn, to right this ship, so that at least we can say that we stood up and fought the good fight.
Massive deficits have tipping points, we can see that in countries such as Argentina (bankrupt 2002), Iceland (bankrupt 2008, Greece, and Ireland, to name just a few. The United States is distinctly on the path for bankruptcy, despite its enormous economic size, its massive wealth, its highly educated peoples, and its overall desirable work ethic and work rate.
The way to get off this pathway towards economic Armageddon is to have the courage, the vision, and the passion to do the right thing and to live within our means. The USA cannot be everything to everyone and our ambitions must be checked and circumscribed by a Balance Budget Amendment.