Thank you for taking the time to write me in regards to the federal budget and our nation's fiscal health.
Our nation's fiscal situation is dire. This year alone, Washington will add $1.5 trillion to our nation's debt, which currently totals $14.3 trillion. This mountain of debt threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations. It is immoral. It has to stop. I am willing to work with anyone in Congress who is serious about addressing the number one problem facing our nation.
Unfortunately, neither the Administration nor Democrats in the Senate have offered any serious budget proposal. President Obama's budget for FY2012 would increase our already massive federal debt by $13 trillion over the next decade. This budget was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 0-97, which was a stunning repudiation of President Obama's leadership on this issue.
The Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, has not passed a budget in over 750 days. This is irresponsible and puts our nation in fiscal peril. Until the President and Senate Democrats get serious, it will be very difficult to pass legislation that begins to put us on the path of fiscal responsibility.
On April 15th, I voted against the Continuing Resolution that supposedly cut $38 billion dollars in spending, a small fraction of this year's shortfall of $1,500 billion. It was simply was not adequate in addressing the problem. Today, the federal government consumes almost 25% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To tackle our debt and deficit, we must limit the size, scope and cost of government.
Unlike most states, the Federal government is not required to balance its budget. I believe a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution would help bring fiscal discipline to Washington. We must also control the size of government by limiting federal spending to a percentage of our economy. I recently co-sponsored the CAP Act of 2011 that would establish spending caps to limit spending to a percentage of GDP.
These measures will require us to make tough choices and force us to prioritize spending for the first time in decades. It will not be easy, but it is necessary.
I believe one of my most important duties as your Senator is to listen to the views of the citizens of Wisconsin and, in turn, communicate my views. I hope I have accomplished that with you.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your concerns with me on this issue. I apologize for any delay you have experienced in receiving this reply. Since taking office in January, my office has received over 160,000 pieces of correspondence. We are working hard to respond to your concerns in a timely manner. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff in the future to share your concerns, ideas, or opinions.
United States Senator