Great Falls Tribune: Rehberg, Tester duke it out over balanced-budget amendment proposals

Montana lawmakers Jon Tester and Denny Rehberg both support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that requires the federal budget be balanced every year.

But what exactly is “balanced?” And what, if anything, should be exempt?

Turns out Tester, the Senate Democrat from Big Sandy, and Rehberg, the Republican congressman from Billings, have their own ideas on the matter. While they both back the concept of not spending more than the government collects, they part ways on what they’re willing to do to achieve it.

Rehberg, a tea party supporter, wants to balance the budget almost exclusively through spending cuts. Tester, along with fellow Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, wants the flexibility to restructure the tax code and end certain breaks while excluding Social Security from the equation.

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