Pawlenty wants Constitutional balanced budget amendment

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"We should ask for a federal Constitution amendment for a balanced budget with exceptions for wars and natural disasters and emergencies," Gov. Tim Pawlenty told New Hampshire radio station WGIR yesterday, ahead of a planned speech to Granite State Republicans. "We should give the president the line-tem veto. And we've got to get serious as a country about rewarding politicians who are willing to say 'no,' instead of rewarding politicians who are only willing to say, 'yes,'"

Does that sound like common sense? Does it sound like something you've heard before? Two quick points:

First, former President Bill Clinton campaigned for, and won, the first-ever presidential line-item veto from Congress in 1996. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law as unsconstitutional in 1998 by a 6-3 vote.

And, good luck with that balanced budget amendment. No such change in the nation's Constitution has ever cleared both houses of Congress with the two-thirds majorities as required by law, let alone been passed along to state legislatures for ratification.

As to electing politicians who are willing to say, "no," well, we'll see how that works out for T-Paw. As governor, he never met the standard he's requesting in a proposed Spending Accountability Amendment. A September Star Tribune poll found most Minnesotans didn't think he'd make a good president. And the latest Rasmussen poll shows that only 4 percent of Republican voters nationwide call T-Paw is their 2012 presidential nominee pick. Of course, it's early days yet.

Here's the audio from New Hampshire:



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