By Jeff Denham
Our country's national debt exceeded $15 trillion this week. Our debt has tripled in the past 15 years and is set to surpass our total gross domestic product for the first time since World War II.
This week, Congress had an opportunity to ensure a brighter future for our kids and grandkids by passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The amendment failed and once again, Congress failed to take an opportunity to enact serious, common-sense reforms. Our debt will only continue to paralyze our economy and jeopardize the future prosperity of our nation. Now is the time for accountability in Washington.
A balanced budget amendment is not a partisan idea; it's one that has been embraced by members of both parties and a majority of the American people.
Simply put, it would force government to spend within its means. In fact, 15 years ago the House passed a balanced budget amendment with an overwhelming majority; unfortunately, that amendment failed in the Senate by just one vote. Had this amendment passed, we would not be facing the debt crisis threatening our economy and our country's future today. Hasn't Congress learned its lesson?
Job creators across the country are desperately seeking any sense of certainty in their government. Today, the out-of-control government spending is harming the ability of businesses to plan their own budgets.
Uncertainty is preventing them from investing in new projects and hiring more workers. A balanced budget amendment would provide a permanent fiscal solution to shield job-creators from the roller coaster of federal spending that distorts the market, crowds out borrowing and requires excessive taxation.
As a small-business owner and a father of two, I know, as all of you do, that we can only spend what we take in. Every day we make decisions about the amount we spend based on the revenue we have earned; and recently, we've cut back. It has been tough, and more than ever we need Washington to start living in this same reality.
I want to put our nation back on the path to honest budgeting. The American people support a balanced budget amendment, and it is time that Washington gets on board.