House minority whip Steny Hoyer really doesn't get it, does he?
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.) said on the House floor last night that if the balanced budget amendment Republicans are supporting is ratified and included in the Constitution it would make it "virtually impossible" to raise taxes.
"In order to pay our bills, Republicans would require us to pass a Constitutional amendment that would permanently enshrine their partisan budget priorities in law and make it virtually impossible to raise revenue," Hoyer said.
The push for a balanced budget amendment is part of the Republican Cut, Cap and Balance plan. This plan would increase the federal debt limit by $2.4 trillion in exchange for cutting federal spending by $111 billion next year and for congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment that, if ratified, would require supermajority votes in Congress to increase taxes, increase the debt limit, or spend more than 18 percent of GDP in a given fiscal year.
Hoyer was evidently alluding to the amendment's requirement that taxes could only be increased with a supermajority vote of Congress when he said the proposal would make it "virtually impossible to raise revenue."
The whole point of a balanced budget amendment is to make it very hard to raise taxes. And equally hard to increase spending. In fact, it connects the two concepts, binding them together in a way that they are not now.
If there is a national emergency and we need more spending, it's a given that both parties would unite to address the threat. It would make raising taxes in that instance a pro-forma exercise.
Hoyer's unintentional hilarity in revealing his ignorance demonstrates the gulf between the two parties and their attitudes toward the public purse.