Rep. Franks Responds To Balanced Budget Amendment Question With Allusions To Nazis

August 02, 2011 12:05 pm ET

From the August 1, 2011, session of the U.S. House of Representatives:

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REP. JESSE JACKSON JR: My question's about the balanced budget amendment...But at least as I understand it, the interpreter of the Constitution obviously would be the federal courts, in that if Congress were unable to achieve a balanced budget in any fiscal year, that a lawsuit could be brought under the balanced budget amendment that would throw the process into the federal judiciary, allowing federal judges then to determine what constitutes balance or imbalance. If the gentleman would take some to share with us how from his perspective that would work?

REP. TRENT FRANKS: Well I thank the gentleman, I'll take a shot at that. First of all, as the gentleman knows, there are many different kinds of balanced budget amendments that have been proposed. One of the commonalities of most of those is that they require that our projected spending meet our projected revenues, what we believe is going to be our receipts for the coming year. Now it is true that as in all areas of the Constitution that the federal courts have exhibited great arrogance in coming into the area of legislation and trying to legislate from the bench by dealing with these issues under the pretense of considering the constitutionality of these issues. The good news with a balanced budget amendment, there would be obvious language there that the courts would have before them that simply says that the Congress is required by the Constitution to balance our budgets so that we don't deficit spend.

Now it is true that we're required in this body to have equal protection, for instance we can't say that this one group deserves protection and this one group doesn't. Every once in a while the Supreme Court injects themselves into that debate like they did in Roe versus Wade, let's say. They simply said that when it comes to protecting the unborn that they weren't persons under the Constitution and that we not only didn't have to protect them, but that we couldn't protect them. And that was arrogance beyond words.

You know every time across the history of humanity, when the German high tribunal injected itself even into the tragedy of the German system, they said that the Jew was "untermensch," sub-human, and they took away their personhood, and the tragedy that followed is still one of the darkest stains on the human soul that I know of.

And so yes, it is possible that the courts could try to intervene in this process and try to distort it. But ultimately, ultimately, the balanced budget amendment concept is very simple. It would simply say, like Thomas Jefferson said, that the federal government, apart from— that it simply would take from them the power of borrowing.


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