Former state representative Matthew Huffman addressed members of the Van Wert County Republicans during a luncheon on Friday. Huffman is an advocate for a balanced budget amendment for the U.S. Constitution. (DHI Media/Erin Cox)
Former state representative Matthew Huffman addressed members of the Van Wert County Republicans during a luncheon on Friday. Huffman is an advocate for a balanced budget amendment for the U.S. Constitution. (DHI Media/Erin Cox)

BY ERIN COX

DHI Media Staff Writer

ecox@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT — Van Wert County Republicans learned about efforts to propose a balanced budget amendment for the U.S. Constitution during a luncheon at Willow Bend Country Club on Friday.

Matthew Huffman, an attorney and past member of Lima City Council and the Ohio House of Representatives, spoke to the group about how a balanced budget amendment needs to be a priority and must be pushed by the state governments.

“What is happening in Washington is not fixable by the people in Washington,” Huffman said. “The reason is they don’t have the incentive to do that.”

The balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution would require the federal government to only spend the money the country has available.

“When people say, ‘We owe it to ourselves, the federal government.’ This is not the federal government’s money, it’s your money, it’s everybody who’s paid into these funds,” he explained. “We owe to trust funds and to foreign governments and to holders of treasury bonds and treasury bills. We owe $18 trillion.”

Huffman took a minute to help those attending the luncheon imagine exactly how much $18 trillion is.

He used the example of a million seconds ago was about 13 days ago. A billion seconds is 33 years ago and a trillion seconds is 33,000 years ago.

“Where we are at right now financially with the federal government, we’ve never been there before,” he said.

“This is a desperate situation and people don’t like to talk about desperate because it rattles the markets,” Huffman continued.

According to Huffman, the only solution is to try to get the state governments to call for change. An amendment to the U.S. Constitution can be made one of two ways: both Houses of Congress can propose it with a two-thirds vote or two-thirds of state legislatures can pass resolutions to call on Congress to hold a constitutional convention.

Currently, 27 states have passed resolutions for a constitutional convention to work on a balanced budget amendment. Ohio was the 20th state to implement a resolution.

Huffman encouraged members of the Van Wert County Republicans to talk to people they know throughout the United States about the balanced budget amendment to spread the word about making changes now.

“This problem has to be solved now and it can’t be solved in Washington because the political will to do that [is not there],” Huffman said. “It’s 10-year-old boys and girls all over the country who are going to have a collapsing economy that they’re going to have to deal with.”