Our country faces a debt crisis because of Washington's reckless spending and borrowing. The federal debt is now $15 trillion, the size of the entire American economy. And President Obama has produced three straight years of record trillion-dollar deficits. I will confront this debt crisis directly because I won't leave our children a future with less prosperity, fewer jobs, lower living standards, and a diminished America.
The first step to fiscal sanity is passing a Balanced Budget Amendment. Washington politicians need a mandatory requirement to balance our budget, just like we do in Arkansas each year. I will vote for the Balanced Budget Amendment in Congress--preferably a "strong" amendment with a super-majority requirement to increase taxes--and I will do my part to persuade 38 states to ratify the amendment.
But we must also take action now to stop spending and borrowing--that's why I support plans like Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity budget and the Republican Study Committee's Honest Solutions budget. We must make real, immediate cuts--not merely reductions to rates of growth or future, imaginary cuts--to domestic discretionary spending, which has exploded under President Obama. One direct route to such cuts is returning discretionary spending to where it was in FY2008 ($933 billion) before President Obama's spending binge and freezing it there through FY2021. As the RSC budget details, this spending level--which wasn't exactly lean or austere--would return the budget to balance, while also protecting our military. I also support making permanent the current ban on wasteful earmark spending. And I will work to save and strengthen Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security by introducing consumer choice and competition before these important programs collapse under the burden of debt.
I will not vote to increase the federal debt ceiling absent these kinds of real spending cuts and crucial reforms. I opposed the Budget Control Act (also known as the "debt ceiling deal") because it didn't make immediate and significant spending cuts, didn't require passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment, opened the door to the tax increases President Obama has always wanted, and exposed the military to devastating cuts--all while increasing the debt ceiling by more than $2 trillion. America must honor its obligations, but we must also confront our debt crisis.