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, 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. And that is exactly what has come to pass. America must honor its obligations, but we must also confront our debt crisis.