Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, told supporters at an American for Prosperity event in Charleston back in April that a balance budget amendment would fulfill one of the last constitutional wishes of America’s third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson (h/t Charleston TeaParty):
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), one speaker among many, said he wanted to finish the work of the third U.S. President and to have a bill that would cap the amount of money that the U.S. government can borrow.
“We need the American people to ask for what Thomas Jefferson ask for just eight years after our constitution was written. He said he wished for a single amendment. He said ‘by that I mean a single article limiting the ability of the federal government’s ability to borrow money.’”
He continued: “We need to finish the work that Thomas Jefferson – a great Virginian and a great American – started.”
Mr. Goodlatte is referring to the often cited quote by Mr. Jefferson who said in 1789:
“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing.”
However, fellow Virgnian, Congressman Jim Moran, a Democrat, told me on Friday that Rep. Goodlatte’s remarks about the cut, cap, and balance amendment (which includes passing a balance budget amendment) regarding President Jefferson’s wishes was “bulls**t.” Listen to Rep. Jim Moran here.
“That’s just bulls**t.” What this is…is exactly what Grover Norquist explained. It’s all about setting up a structure that prevents Democrats from being able to govern as Democrats. In other words. Investing money in equality and opportunity and expanding the middle class in a better life and a more sustainable environment. That’s going to take the money off the table and so the rich will get richer and the middle class will get poorer. That’s all it’s about. It’s a long term ideological strategy. That’s what cut, cap, and balance is all about.”
Mr. Moran continued on about why he thought Jefferson would be embarrassed to be associated with the GOP’s cut, cap and balance amendment:
“Thomas Jefferson would be so embarrassed to be anyway associated with this Thomas Jefferson was a humanist. He believed in treating people decently and equitably and he wasn’t always true to his word, but at least in terms of his public stance, he believed that this should be a democracy where everyone has a vote.”
The cut cap and balance bill, which was passed by the House on Tuesday and was blocked by the Democratic controlled Senate 51 to 46 on Friday afternoon.