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Balanced Budget Amendment Needed to Get Country's Fiscal House in Order

Democrats who oppose measure either burying their heads in the sand or trying to score political points.

Last week, our national debt hit $15 trillion. The urgency of our debt crisis demands that Congress pass true spending reform that will enforce fiscal discipline. This can only be accomplished with a Balanced Budget Amendment.

If we want to give job creators certainty for the future, and encourage them to expand and grow, we must rein in out-of-control spending.

The House considered a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote in each chamber of Congress to pass. With opposition from the tax-and-spend left, the amendment did not pass.

This Balanced Budget Amendment closely mirrors the same one that passed the House in 1995 — with broad bipartisan support — and failed by only one vote in the Senate. Since then, our debt has nearly quadrupled.

My colleagues across the aisle who voted against this amendment are either burying their heads in the sand or trying to misrepresent this effort to score political points. But ignoring our debt crisis won’t make it go away.

In fact, a group of moderate Democrats openly supported this amendment and called opposition “unfortunate” because almost two-thirds of Americans support this measure. One Democratic member said: “This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We should come together and take steps to get the country back on the appropriate path.” 

Under President Obama, this country has seen an explosion of Washington spending and unmatched trillion-dollar deficits. Since President Obama took office, our debt has increased by $3.7 trillion. The Democratic-controlled Senate has not passed a budget in more than 900 days.

Setting our federal budget is one of the most basic functions of government. Washington has been spending without any limits in place, and our president has failed to offer any leadership to address the debt crisis, and, in fact, has led us in the opposite direction.

But we did not get here overnight. Under both Republican and Democratic administrations, Washington has spent too much. It is too tempting for politicians to spend now, while passing the debt on to future generations.

A child born in 2011 carries $47,093 of our national debt. If we continue on this path, future generations will be left with an America where uncertainty and debt crowd out opportunity for prosperity and economic progress.

President Ronald Reagan said it well: "Only a constitutional amendment will do the job. We’ve tried the carrot, and it failed. With the stick of a Balanced Budget Amendment, we can stop government squandering, overtaxing ways, and save our economy."

I supported the Balanced Budget Amendment in 1995 and I supported it again in 2011. I will continue to fight for policies that pay down our debt and stop out-of-control spending. 

William Eib February 20, 2012 at 05:55 PM
The Right is always calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment. Ever wonder why? It save them form being exposed as heartless. Every time they attack the Social Contract, they find themselves in a defensive position, trying to concoct some cock-a-Mamie excuse for their cold-hearted decision making. With a Balanced Budget Amendment they will have the Constitution to hide behind. An amendment of that sort will cause more problem, not less. Inevitably, after all of the social programs are cut to the bone, the Defense Budget will have to be honestly confronted. So be careful what you wish for.
William Eib February 20, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Nick: It's difficult top resolve any problem, when the problem is over blown by one side or the other to amplify their position. Hyperbole. Such as: Teachers salaries are killing our economy. They only work 9 months out of the year. They sit around living on our tax dollars for 3 months doing nothing. This is what is referred to as a non-starter. Where does the other side go from there? They have to play defense. The real issues, usually mismanagement of district funds, never get addressed.
William Eib February 20, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Yep, that's right 900 days. It usually takes time to work out somethng as complicated as a budget for the most powerful country on earth, where every dicision we make ripples across the world. So you should be glad they are interested enough to take time to write up a budget word on word, numbers on numbers. The GOP are well known for the espediancy with which they wack out a budget. They use boilerplate budgets, pretty much the same one they have been presenting since the end of WWI.
William Eib February 20, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Mikey Pyter: I think you got the right movie but wrong party, that happened from 2000 thru 2008. I think you bought a boot legged copy of the movie. Plus, how soon you forgot the Debt Ceiling Debacle, you remember, the Teahadists running the GOP took it to the edge, and got the USA credit rating down graded. Fair is fair Mikey.
William Eib February 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Mikey P: They come with the Optimism Package option. Also, they block out negativity, and self loathing. You need them on the sunny side of the street. Where as you who dwell in the dark regions of life, have no need, but surely could use a walk on the wild side, where optimism, positivity and self confidence reside.

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