ENMU Constitution Week ends with discussion panel

Freedom New Mexico: Alisa Boswell Eastern New Mexico University faculty member Dan Acheson-Brown, right, shares his thoughts on a Balanced Budget Amendment Friday afternoon at a Constitution Day discussion panel at ENMU as his colleague Donald Elder listens.

Alisa Boswell

Eastern New Mexico University ended Constitution Week with their own Constitution Day as they held a discussion panel in the Campus Union Building Friday afternoon to discuss federal budget deficit and a new political topic being buzzed about, the Balanced Budget Amendment.

“It is a hot topic issue right now,” ENMU faculty member Don Elder said.

Elder said every state with the exception of Vermont has balanced budget rules and now there is talk of bringing such rules to the federal level.

Elder explained to the panel audience that having a balanced budget means planning for only making and spending a certain amount of money, which doesn’t account for unexpected expenses which may arise.

“A budget is based on an expectation of what you’re going to have,” Elder told his audience Friday. “I don’t think you can have a balanced budget with the federal government.”

Five faculty members gave presentations on the topics of federal spending and the possibility of a federal balanced budget then took questions from their audience and had group discussion based on the questions.

Each member approached the topic of federal money from a different standpoint.

Faculty member Sue Stockly approached it from an economical point of view, telling her audience that things to think about are there will always be federal debt and federal debt never has to be paid.

Portales resident Joel Fletcher presented the panel with the question, “What is your view on quantitative hazing, buying back our own dollars because no one else is?”

“That happens all the time. It’s just a normal part of business,” Stockly responded. “If you’re an exporter, you want the dollar to be weak, because you want to sell. If you’re a tourist in Europe, you want the dollar to be weak.”

Several more questions followed Fletcher’s as students, faculty and Portales residents all made further inquiries on federal money and balanced budget.

“It’s been interesting and informative,” Fletcher said at the end of the event.

Although panel members and audience members did not agree on all counts, everyone in the room was given the opportunity to speak and share ideas.

“The American public doesn’t have a very good grasp on federal revenue and they should,” said Dan Acheson-Brown, another faculty and panel member. “That was part of the point of this was to explain the revenue process to people.”