Ryan's plan and a balanced budget amendment 

Earlier today, in a post about the debt ceiling fight, I observed that Rep. Paul Ryan's debt proposal would be unconstitutional under the Senate GOP's version of the balanced budget amendment. But Sen. Jim DeMint's office is pushing back against my characterization.

The reason for my assertion was that the text of the amendment says that the budget must be balanced in five years, but the Ryan plan takes much longer to do so. However, DeMint's office argues that it would take two to five years to ratify the balanced budget amendment, and that while Ryan offered a 2012 budget, subsequent budgets could lead to further reductions that would bring balance sooner than Ryan's current proposal. DeMint has argued that an amendment would help pave the way for the Ryan budget by forcing fiscal discipline.

Ultimately, this doesn't change the point I was making about Republicans over-promising on the debt-ceiling, but I thought it was worth clarifying. I'll have more to say about the balanced budget amendment itself going forward.


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