This week I introduced legislation that would limit all federal spending -- including entitlements -- to 18% of gross domestic product, the historical average of total federal revenue. In doing so, my bill would balance the budget and begin paying down the national debt in five years.
We have learned that too many in Washington are unwilling or unable to get spending under control. My proposal takes the growth of government off auto pilot and takes election-year politics off the table. It gets rid of accounting gimmicks, budget trick and empty promises to provide for a more stable and secure future for our country.
According to my proposal, if Congress is unwilling or unable to bring spending within the limit, spending would automatically be cut across-the-board to meet the prescribed spending level for that year. Spending would be divided into three categories: direct (entitlements), non-security discretionary and security-related discretionary. Cuts would be applied proportionally in each of these categories based on their level of growth from the previous year.
To hold Congress and the White House to the limit, my plan would strictly limit emergency spending which is often a vehicle for bypassing budget rules. Interest on the national debt is the only exemption. To override the law, a two-thirds vote would be required in each chamber.
This is our opportunity to change the trajectory of our fiscal future. On one hand, we have mountains more debt piled onto our children and grandchildren. On the other, we have a path to reining in government, paying down the debt and freeing our future generations of a crushing debt.