How the amendment would work
As proposed in Congress, the constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget would:Skip to next paragraph
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* Require Congress to adopt a budget in which spending is no greater than receipts. It would take a three-fifths vote of both Houses to pass an unbalanced budget.
* Limit tax receipt increases to the rate of national income growth, unless Congress votes an official tax hike. Under current tax law, the government reaps a revenue bonanza in times of inflation, because workers earn higher salaries and move into higher tax brackets automatically.
* Permit budget deficits when there is a declaration of war.