Credo Action

Tell Democrats: No Wall Street budget amendment

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Petition to Democrats in the House of Representatives:

"Oppose the so-called 'Balanced Budget Amendment,' a destructive pro-Wall Street idea that no Democrat should support."

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    Tell Democrats: No Wall Street budget amendment

    Cuts to government services mean more money for Wall Street. Corporate titans and big banks spend billions to support politicians who will cut social spending, knowing that if we can't rely on public roads or schools, people will have to turn to Wall Street-backed private businesses.

    That is why Wall Street loves the idea of a so-called "Balanced Budget Amendment," which would amend the Constitution to slash social spending. The amendment would bar the government from running a deficit, with disastrous effects for everyone except the investor class.1 No wonder one writer calls it "the worst idea in American politics."2

    Disgustingly, a group of corporate pawns known as "Blue Dog Democrats" are using the recently passed budget deal as an excuse to push the amendment and create a rift in the Democratic caucus.3 We need to make it clear to Democrats that siding with Wall Street is simply unacceptable.

    Tell Democrats: No Wall Street budget amendment.

    The budget deal was already a mixed bag. While it removed some spending caps, it also increased military spending and suspended the debt ceiling for two years – potentially allowing Republicans to hold it hostage against a future Democratic administration. But even this wasn't enough for Blue Dog Democrats.4

    The Blue Dogs want to put a kinder, gentler face on Wall Street plutocracy and push the Trump agenda without the worst of his misogyny and racism. One of their key priorities this Congress is the Wall Street budget amendment. It would:5,6

    • Create recessions and make them worse by barring the government from deficit spending to boost the economy when it is weak or, in the case of the Blue Dogs' proposal, create extra hoops for Congress to jump through before it can act.
    • Damage the social safety net by placing limits on the ability of Social Security and Medicare to tap trust funds, creating an artificial cap on social safety net spending and locking Trump and Wall Street's budget idea into the Constitution for a generation or more.
    • Empower Trump and enrich Wall Street, by potentially giving the presidency new power to decide which programs are cut and who gets taxed in order to meet requirements – ensuring that more and more Americans must turn to Wall Street loan sharks to make ends meet, see a doctor or go to school.
    • Force the government to live by far harsher rules than ordinary families, who can at least finance major purchases by taking out a home mortgage or an auto loan.

    Even with a Wall Street budget amendment, a Republican-led Congress will still give tax handouts to the super-rich and spend trillions on military waste, while the rest of us pay for it all. Democrats who support this idea should be laughed out of the room.

    Tell Democrats: No Wall Street budget amendment.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Richard Kogan, "Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment Poses Serious Risks," Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 16, 2018.
    2. Charles P. Pierce, "Not One Single Democrat Should Get Behind the Worst Idea in American Politics," Esquire, April 9, 2019.
    3. Niv Elis, "Exclusive: Moderate Democrats renew calls for balanced budget amendment as spending deal nears," The Hill, July 18, 2019.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Kogan, "Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment Poses Serious Risks."
    6. Pierce, "Not One Single Democrat Should Get Behind the Worst Idea in American Politics."