Brooks’ outlandish proposal calls for a balanced budget within five years, after which time federal spending could not exceed federal revenue. If the country were to face a deficit, Brooks’ bill demands that the President take “such steps as are necessary” to avoid excess spending. But under Brooks’ plan, there’s only one thing the President can do to avoid a deficit, as only one side of the balance sheet is open to negotiation:
“The President may not order any increase in taxes or other revenue measures to enforce the Amendment,” the bill reads. “A President’s failure to prevent a prohibited fiscal year deficit is an impeachable offense.”
Brooks is the latest Republican to suggest that revenue measures are off the table after Democrats and Republicans agreed to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for those earning more than $450,000 a year as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. But even with increased tax revenues, the deficit reduction President Obama has overseen since 2011 has still favored spending cuts over increased revenue by a 3 to 1 margin.