Because the Florida Legislature's biggest skill is making trouble, it added a straw measure to this fall's election ballot: Should there be a constitutional amendment balancing the budget without raising taxes?
Wouldn't it be nice? Of course it would. But one needs only to look at the last nine years to understand why it would be unrealistic:
Two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the continuing war against terrorism. The catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina. The economic collapse. The Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Stuff happens, as the kids like to say. Unplanned stuff. If your country is called the United States of America, lots and lots of unplanned stuff. Try handling all that unplanned stuff with a balanced budget requirement and no hikes in taxes or fees.
While balanced budgets are realistic on a state level, a permanent ban on tax hikes even there would instantly cause 50 budget disasters.
On a federal level, it's a pipe dream. A No vote on the straw ballot issue would mean voters are facing reality. Wake up and vote No.