The excessive spending by career politicians in Washington has reached an unsustainable level. The U.S. national debt currently exceeds $13 trillion, which is over $42,000 per citizen, and $118,000 per taxpayer. This is unacceptable. With every dollar that we borrow from China, we mortgage away another day in the life of our children and grandchildren. At some point our creditors will call us on our debt, and we will be unable to pay. The situation is a Greece is a microcosm of what we can expect to happen here some day if comprehensive change is not made. The size and expense of our government is outpacing our growth in GDP by record amounts. This irresponsible behavior must stop, and a sustainable path must be implemented.
A Common Sense Solution: A Balanced Budget Amendment
It is evident that our Representatives in Washington are either unable or unwilling to control the run-away spending, so we must implement a mechanism to force their hand-- and that mechanism is the Balanced Budget Amendment. The average American family must live within a budget, and the federal government should be no different. Government-by-credit card must end and it must end now! We cannot keep passing the buck to our children and grandchildren and crippling future generations.
A Balanced Budget Amendment would prohibit Congress from spending more than it takes in. In my plan, a two-thirds supermajority vote in the House and Senate would be available to override the balanced budget amendment in times of extreme national crisis.
A Common Sense Solution: Require a Supermajority to Raise Taxes
Part of the failure to achieve a balanced budget amendment is that it's just too easy to raise taxes. Therefore, I support a constitutional two-thirds supermajority by the House and Senate to raise any tax on individuals or businesses. This will, in most cases, prevent tax increases unless they are agreed to by a bi-partisan supermajority.
A Common Sense Solution: Establish a Red Ink Task Force"
Modeled after President Ronald Reagan's Grace Commission, this Red Ink Task Force would be charged with reviewing the federal budget and budget process from top to bottom and identifying waste and inefficiencies that should be eliminated.
The key difference is that this time active Members of Congress would be included. I have previously said that Commission's comprised solely of non-members of Congress are just a convenient way for Congress to abdicate responsibility for a job they should be doing.
The task force would begin in January 2011 and report to the President, Congress and the American people by January 2012, with each recommendation by the task force being given an up or down by the full Congress before the 2012 elections.
Even though we have suffered through the worst recession since the Great Depression, I believe that this country can and will recover stronger than ever before. It is the American people, not the government that makes this country great. The American people are the hardest working most resilient people in the world, and it is the American people that will lead this recovery.
A balanced budget amendment is one the most important steps we can take to re-empower the people, and allow them to lift us out of this hole, and get our country back on track. By reducing the debt we will assure a brighter future for our children, and allow them to enjoy the American Dream of opportunity for all.