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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The time for a balanced budget is now

Monday, July 25, 2011

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson to Ben Franklin, balancing the budget united America's founders. Nearly 200 years later, in 1982, President Reagan declared his support for a balanced budget amendment, stating "only a constitutional amendment will do the job. We've tried the carrot, and it failed. With the stick of a balanced budget amendment, we can stop government's squandering, overtaxing ways, and save our economy." Thirteen years later, in 1995, Congress was one vote shy of passing a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget.

Nearly 30 years after President Reagan's declaration and 16 years after Congress' failed vote, government continues to recklessly borrow, spend, and overtax. Our national debt is nearly $14.3 trillion -- higher than any time in American history -- and growing. Of every dollar the government spends we borrow 40 cents and send the bill to future generations, which is why every child born today owes $46,000 to our creditors. America is on the verge of drowning in red ink.

Washington's inability to control spending on its own makes it clear the only effective way to do so is through an amendment to the Constitution. Adoption of a balanced budget amendment would help ensure spending restraints are set in stone, and provide certainty to help create a better environment for job creation and economic growth across the country. Families, businesses, local governments, and 49 state governments, including Nebraska, are forced to balance their budgets. The federal government should be no different.

Congress has tried spending pledges in the past, but once these pledges fade from the headlines the spending binge continues full steam ahead often guised as "emergency spending." Families across Nebraska know "emergency spending" is a luxury not afforded in the real world. If your credit cards are maxed out, spending more money is not an option.

A constitutional mandate would legally bind both the president and Congress to produce annual budgets which spend no more than the government receives in revenues. It would end the explosive annual deficits which have ballooned to record levels. Last year alone, our annual deficit was $1.4 trillion, plus the billions in interest being paid on the $800 billion borrowed for the failed "stimulus" bill the year before. These figures are unconscionable, and only the legal force of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget will guarantee a change in our fiscal course.

For too long, increases in government spending have been seen as the means to fix our country's woes. The reality is we can no longer afford the tired playbook of failed Washington policies. Out-of-control government spending is the problem, and cutting spending must be the solution. Getting our fiscal house in order is not only achievable, it is imperative as Washington needs to get serious about changing the way it spends the American people's money. Implementing a balanced budget amendment will help restore our economy and save the American dream for the next generation.

For more information about spending issues, the latest developments in Congress, or to sign up for my e-mail newsletter, please visit my website at www.adriansmith.house.gov.


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Give me a break Adrian, you have again given us the Republican talking points, that we have been listening to for weeks, as we have also heard the other side's. It is now time to do your job and compromise on the debt ceiling, get spending cuts, but do not put this country into default.

My 401 has just recovered from the 09 mess, I do not want to lose a bunch again because all you idiots in D.C. can't compromise.

Worry about a balanced budget admentment AFTER you guys take care of the debt limit mess!

-- Posted by goarmy67 on Mon, Jul 25, 2011, at 11:21 PM

Great article, Adrian. I agree with all of it.

One thing that I like also is a cash basis amendment. If the funds are not in the treasury, you can't spend anymore.

Some folks think these two proposals are the same, but they are not. To put forth a balanced budget all you have to do is overstate anticipated revenues in the budget to balance it, and the excessive spending goes right on.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Tue, Jul 26, 2011, at 2:15 PM

Comparing the Senate bill and the House bill - they both want cuts and a raising of the debt ceiling.

The one who doesn't want it is the President.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Jul 26, 2011, at 11:46 PM

Sure raise the debt limit and then deal with spending. Not really smart when it is spending that created this problem in the first place. Neither plan truly cuts spending it just reduces the growth of current government agencies. The only way to starve this addictive government from our money is to have the House and Senate pass a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution and send it to the states to be ratified. The President cannot stop that one, yet and he knows it or at least I would hope the President of the United Sates would understand that part of the US Constitution.. That is why he wants the debt raised to get him through the next election.

One plan was written by a large government liberal and the other was not. Liberals NEVER want the size of government to get smaller. They believe that government is the answer to all of the problems, kind of like the city council and MEDC thinking that if they spend more tax dollars that McCook's population will magically grow, when in reality it is shrinking. But wait the fall back for the leaders of both organiziations is always that McCook would be totally wiped off the map had they not raised taxes and spent more money. Does that sound familiar to anyone else on the national stage right now????? I'll give you a hint, he currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave Washington, DC.

-- Posted by sleeper on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 6:42 AM

Yo, Adrian, what have you added to the discussion that hasn't already been repeated many times. Thanks for the personal insight. The more you repeat the mantra being spoon fed to you the deeper the concrete your feet are encased not enabling any compromise. Nebraska, especially the 3rd district has a legacy of leadership that is currently lacking in Washington. Get the job done and quit being a barrier to progress.

-- Posted by BuffRoam on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 2:22 PM


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U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith
Washington Report