Mr. Speaker, most Americans are looking at the events in Ireland, Spain and Greece with interest and horror when we look at how they are grappling with the problem of their national debts. Yet, at the same time, the United States of America has a debt which is 96 percent of GDP. Our spending level is about 24 percent of GDP.
Now, most States around the country have balanced budget amendments which keep them from going in the red. What a different picture it would be if our national government had a balanced budget amendment. There is another thing we could do, though, and that would be to modernize the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, which calls for deficit reduction targets.
I think, however, it would be better to have a spending cap tied into GDP at approximately 18 percent, which would, year after year, give Congress a target. If we were to fail to meet that target, then it would have an automatic trigger of across-the-board cuts so that we could get to the right level of spending. We do not want to have the same problems as Greece, Ireland and Spain