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Federal Budget Balance: Tonic or Toxin?


  • Charles J. Whalen

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)


Continuous federal budget deficits and a rising public debt have been presented in terms that have produced mounting dissatisfaction with government. One solution offered to deal with this discontent has been a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. In a working paper, Charles J. Whalen presents a historical review of balanced budget legislation, including the constitutional amendment proposed in the Republican Contract with America. He outlines the arguments in favor of and against such legislation and concludes that such an amendment would be both politically and economically misguided. In light of this conclusion, Whalen offers an alternative direction for federal budgetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles J. Whalen, 1999. "Federal Budget Balance: Tonic or Toxin?," Macroeconomics 9903003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9903003
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 39; figures: included

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    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics


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