Unfortunately, many Americans, probably a vast majority, live with a false set of facts about American government, as it stands under the Constitution. There is a major need for a reality check!
Many people, including Republicans in Congress, seem to think that a balanced budget amendment will solve our economic problems, when there is absolutely no chance of that occurring! Any constitutional amendment required a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives, followed by a two thirds vote of the US Senate, and then a majority vote in each of the two houses in three fourths or 38 of the 50 states, with the only exception being Nebraska, which only has a one house or unicameral legislature.
We are not ever going to bring about 290 out of 435 votes in the House of Representatives and 67 out of 100 votes in the Senate for such an amendment! Only 36 proposed amendments have EVER achieved this two thirds vote, and the number of failed amendments is in the hundreds over our history!
But notice, even with 36 amendments making it through the Congress, we have only 27 amendments, telling us that NINE amendments failed to gain a three fourths support of state legislatures. Another way to put it is that IF there is a one vote majority in one of the two houses of the state legislatures against an amendment in just THIRTEEN states at a minimum, the amendment fails to be added to the Constitution.
There is no realistic possibility of a balanced budget amendment EVER making it into the Constitution, no matter what politicians say! And were it to happen, it would create a strait jacket, paralyzing us in a time of economic collapse, war, or natural disaster, no matter what limitations are put into such an amendment. It is time for serious minded people to give up the idea that such an amendment will EVER pass, and instead, take responsibility for the fact that the federal government IS necessary, and that we are all going to have to pay more taxes, whether we like it or not, and that it is PATRIOTIC to pay our fair share, including the super wealthy being thankful for their good fortune, and paying the tax level they used to pay from the 1940s through the 1970s, and certainly at the least, the levels of the Bill Clinton years in the White House!
It is also time for “dreamers”, who have the view that a serious third party movement could lead to the election of a President, to get a reality check as well!
Our electoral college system, which can only be changed by a constitutional amendment, which is not going to happen either, prevents a third party candidate from winning, with Theodore Roosevelt performing the best as a third party candidate of the Progressive Party in 1912, but only winning six states and 88 electoral votes, about a third of what is needed to win the White House. The only reason even he did that well was that he was a former President and extremely popular. Such a scenario will NEVER happen again, particularly with the 22nd Amendment, which limits Presidents to two complete terms in office, something not existing in 1912, when Theodore Roosevelt ran for what would have been a third, but non consecutive term as President.
Even if such a thing could happen, a third party candidate without major party backing would have an impossible situation gaining support to govern effectively, as indeed, independent Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota discovered in his term from 1999-2003!
For good or for bad, we are stuck with the two party system, and we will be electing a Democrat or a Republican for the Presidency for the long term future!
So forget the constitutional amendment route for a balanced budget, and ignore the thoughts of a third party movement electing a President, and instead accept the reality of the American future–we need to work within the system and just pick better people for public office, as we always have the right to do by voting and organizing, and stop hating our government, which with its faults, is still essential and necessary in our daily lives, as much as we would wish otherwise in our dreams!