George Will is hard-pressed to make a cogent and persuasive argument in favor of a balanced budget amendment. Perhaps he had a deadline to meet and had to write something, even if it turned out incoherent. He starts off by noting the usual objections to such an amendment:
The Constitution should be amended rarely and reluctantly. Constitutionalizing fiscal policy is a dubious undertaking. Unless carefully crafted, such an amendment might instead be a constant driver of tax increases. A carefully crafted amendment that minimizes this risk could not pass until Republicans have two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress, which they have not had since 1871.
He fails to mention some other reasons, such as setting a dangerous precedent that might morph into a full-blown constitutional convention – a “con-con” – with potentially disastrous results. That’s how we got our present Constitution. Here’s Wiki on that:
The Annapolis Convention (1786) … proposed what became the Philadelphia Convention (1787) … [which was supposed to modify the Articles of Confederation but instead threw out the Articles and] drafted the United States Constitution for ratification by the states.
He also fails to mention the fact that a BBA will require power-hungry politicians to bind themselves down from mischief. In addition, large portions of the Constitution are routinely abrogated if not ignored altogether, so why would politicians pay attention to any new thing attached to it?
But Will marches on into the wilderness of irrational thinking by proposing a balance budget amendment anyway:
The political class is incorrigible because it is composed of — let us say the worst — human beings. They respond to incentives of self-interest. Their acquisitiveness is not for money but for the currency of power, which they act to retain and enlarge. This class can be constrained, if at all, not by exhorting them to become disinterested but by binding them with a constitutional amendment.
In fact, Will inadvertently makes the case for not amending the Constitution simply because he lacks any substantial persuasive reason to do so.