Our economy will not recover until there is a clear plan from Washington to stop spending money that we do not have and a plan to pay down the national debt. When I am home in Arkansas, I constantly hear from parents and grandparents who are worried that their children and grandchildren will not be able to live the American dream because our national debt will cripple our economy for generations. Additionally, small business owners tell me they are afraid to hire more workers or expand their business because our economy is so fragile.
After years of spending money that we do not have, our nation's economy is stagnant. If nothing is done, our nation's debt crisis threatens the future prosperity of every American. This week President Obama criticized the budget passed by the House. Keep in mind this is the same President who has increased the national debt by nearly 50 percent and proposed four straight budgets that include over $1 trillion in deficit spending. President Obama has no credibility when it comes to responsible budgeting and spending.
Our massive national debt is shortchanging our children and grandchildren. For the first time in our nation's history, our next generation could be less prosperous and have less opportunity than the generation that preceded it. Less opportunity and less freedom is not the legacy I want to pass to my two children. The nation's debt currently exceeds $15 trillion. The national debt is equal to $49,000 for every man, woman and child in the country.
Too much Washington spending has bad economic consequences -- higher cost of living, higher interest rates for farm loans and small business investments, and higher taxes for everyone. Washington has spent a lot of money on government bureaucracy in an attempt to create jobs. It didn't work. In fact, the recent government spending spree under President Obama has resulted in the longest unemployment crisis since the Great Depression and the slowest recovery in a generation. I am committed to job growth and that starts with an end to deficit spending and a plan to pay down the national debt.
Our economy's road to recovery will not be paved with massive national debt and more deficit spending. We will enjoy prosperity by permanently and responsibly reining in federal spending and paying down our national debt. In Congress, I will continue fighting to fundamentally change how Washington spends money so that our children and grandchildren can live the American dream and not be crippled by a mountain of debt.