Vote Now: A proposed Balanced Budget amendment to the Constitution
If you had a chance to support a new Constitutional amendment, which one would you choose? We’ve posed that question all summer and now it’s time for America to vote.
We presented 10 topics for discussion starting in May and the online debates were moderated by Chris Phillips, research fellow of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania and executive director of the nonprofit organization Democracy Café.
We also asked readers to suggest wording for proposed amendments, which went to our editorial board. And after reading the comments and suggestions, we have 10 proposed amendments for our readers to consider.
Each weekday, starting on August 30, we’ll ask America to vote on each amendment. We’ll reveal the results, fittingly, on Constitution Day- September 17, 2013.
During each vote, you can debate below in our Facebook commenting area and try to rally support from your friends.
Here is the vote schedule: Balanced budget (August 30), Right to privacy (Sept. 3), Right to bear arms (Sept. 4), Terms limits for Congress (Sept. 5), Same-sex marriage (Sept. 6), Separation of church and state (Sept. 9), Ban on flag burning (Sept. 10), Ban electoral college (Sept. 11), Restrict campaign finances (Sept. 12) and Equal Rights amendment (Sept. 13). Voting on all amendments ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sept. 13.
So exercise your civic duty, join the discussion and check back on Constitution Day to see what America has to say about our founding document.
CURRENT VOTE: A requirement for the federal government to balance its budget
PROPOSED AMENDMENT: “There shall be a flexible balanced budget whereby total outlays for a year do not exceed the median annual revenue collected in the seven prior years. A three-fifths supermajority of each house of Congress can declare a one-year emergency exemption. Additional one-year exemptions may be approved only by escalating votes in each house of Congress. The amendment shall take effect in the seventh year following ratification by the states. During the seven-year transition period the deficit would be reduced gradually each year until it reaches zero.”
VOTE BELOW. (If you can’t see the voting box below, click this link.)