As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said, “The national debt is the single biggest threat to national security.” With total U.S. outstanding debt fast approaching 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the rating agency Standard & Poor’s recently changing the outlook for U.S. debt from ‘stable’ to ‘negative,’ real reforms are desperately needed.
The previous Democratic-controlled Congress spent more money than the first 100 Congresses combined. Spending bills were increasing government agency funding by double digits year over year. In fact, under former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, the deficit grew nearly 10-fold (from $161 billion to $1.55 trillion).
Failure to operate within our means has plunged our nation deeper and deeper into debt. House Republicans, however, refuse to kick the can down the road. Recently, I voted for and the House passed H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. This legislation cuts current spending, caps future spending, and requires Congress to establish a Constitutional balanced budget amendment to keep Washington’s spending in line. Bottom line, it requires the federal government to spend within its means. Specifically, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act cuts $110 billion next year and $6 trillion over the next decade. Additionally, it scales back total federal spending to bring the size of government back below 20% of GDP – the average for the last three decades. Click here for more information on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act.
Also, we’ve passed legislation that cuts $6 trillion in spending over the next decade and balances the budget., a repeal of the burdensome tax provisions for small businesses and the rescinding of $8 billion in TARP funds.
Again, more needs to be done. That is why I have also authored legislation that would rid the government of useless and duplicative programs, I have cosponsored a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and I support a cap on total federal spending. Rest assured, I will continue to fight to cut spending until we balance our budget and eliminate our national debt.
If we are serious about addressing this looming budgetary crisis and getting our economy on solid footing, now is the time to make the hard choices.