I was born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 1926. I tell people I came out of a turkey but I’ve been trying to fly like an eagle all my life. So you can imagine my thoughts if God gave me one wish before I check out.

What would I wish for? Wealth and fame mean nothing at my age. I love my family, my church and my country. What wish could do the most good for the most people? I’m afraid we are losing our democracy because we are spending so much of our effort on frivolous things. What would solve that problem?

A Balanced Budget Amendment would prevent Congress from spending more than they took in. They could not run up anymore debt. This of course would be a profound change in Washington. In order to enforce the change all federal employees, both elected or appointed, should have their pay and allowances cut in twice the proportion that expenditures exceeded income. In this way every doorkeeper, every food server, and every floor sweeper would be saying to the Congressman as he passed, “Are we going to balance Mr. Congressman? I can’t stand a pay cut.” This amendment would change the psychology of Washington.

The effects of a Balanced Budget Amendment would be felt even before the amendment passed the states. Congress and the bureaucrats would know they had to change their ways. Right now we have 70 lobbyists for every congressmen. That number would go down. Congress would start to line up expenditures to cut. The confidence of the people would be the first benefit. The second benefit would be the dollar, “sound as a dollar” would again mean something.

Finally, with the soundness of our government and the dollar of the people would be assured that our democracy has a future. “That nation under God so dedicated and so conceived will not perish…”

I believe if God granted me this wish it would be the best thing I could do for my country.

Jim Taunt

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