In 1974 the national debt was $475 million, and when Ford’s 1975 budget came out it added $53 million in deficit spending. State legislators around the country were concerned.
Two of them, Senator Jim Clark of Maryland and Representative David Halbrook of Mississippi decided to do something about it, and they began a campaign to use Article V to get a Balanced Budget Amendment. By 1979 they had 29 states. But even though that was more than a majority, it wasn’t enough. Because Article V is so poorly drafted, they needed 34, or 2/3. They got to 32 in 1983 when Alaska passed a Resolution, but that’s as far as they got. That’s as far as anyone has ever gotten.
What might have been.