In 46 states across the nation, a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) has been enacted in their state constitutions. I have long been a proponent of adopting the same principle for the Federal Government. As President, I will work to authorize common sense solutions that will solve our nation’s fiscal crisis. –Rand Paul
Here Rand Paul, appealing to common sense, seeks to persuade the reader that:
- What is appropriate for State Government is also appropriate for the Federal Government.
- Our nation has a fiscal crisis which a Balanced Budget will solve.
These arguments are false. There are many differences between State and Federal Government; Federal Government is sovereign while State Governments are not is one. Paul leads the reader to assume that our nation has a fiscal crisis. Paul gives no reason that the Federal Government should have a balanced budget. Does he really believe a balanced budget is appropriate at all times, during the Great Depression for example. Does he really believe the US could have and should have paid for WWII out of pocket?
My amendment (to H.R. 50– the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act) ensures government identifies the impact its action will have on private property. I think of it like this: we have environmental impact tests to assess the community cost associated with government action; why don’t we also have a private property impact test to assess the cost borne by individuals due to that same governmental action? It is only common-sense and fair to property owners for this to occur. –Rep. Tom Reed
Here Tom suggests that costs to property owners are equally important as damage to the environment. That may well be the way Tom sees it; by suggesting it is common sense, he leads the reader to see it that way too.
This (voter ID law) is a common sense reform that protects the integrity of our voting process, making it easy to vote and hard to cheat.–Gov. Scott Walker
The voter ID law may in fact make it hard (or harder) to cheat, but it is unlikely that it makes is easy (or easier) to vote, quite the contrary. By citing common sense, Walker tries to persuade us that the voter ID law is reasonable.
When politicians say common sense, it is common sense to stop to consider what they are attempting to sell, what argument they choose not to make.
© William Hungerford – April 2015