Document Type


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taxation, tax policy, budgets, fiscal policy, constitutional reform

Subject Categories

Constitutional Law | Law | Taxation | Tax Law


Unbalanced budgets have sparked decades of debate among legislators, scholars, and the public at large. Although the controversy has abated somewhat in recent years, many continue to believe that Congress has a tendency to pursue a level of public debt that is both inefficient and unfair. Foremost among those who criticize the federal budgeting process are fiscal constitutionalists, a group of public choice scholars who believe the constitutional constraints are the only means by which the public will obtain protection from legislative fiscal irresponsibility. This article explores the public choice argument for a balanced budget amendment and argues that it may not be the best means to the preferred ends.