Over the past several weeks, Washington has had multiple opportunities to address the nation's massive spending problem. Instead, the only thing Congress was able to accomplish was prove again how broken Washington has become. Despite the setbacks, we must redouble our efforts to end the unsustainable spending going on in our nation's capital.
The need to cut spending and balance our books like every Nebraska family does has grown more urgent in light of our national debt exceeding $15 trillion, or $128,000 for every household in America. Our ballooning debt is mortgaging our children's future and adding to the economic uncertainty paralyzing job creators. Correcting our country's unsustainable fiscal pattern is not just an economic issue, it is a moral issue.
Nebraskans understand the source of our fiscal mess isn't because we tax too little, but rather because we spend too much. That is why after President Obama and a complicit Congress added trillions to the debt in just two short years, Republicans told the president if he wanted our help to pay his bills, he had to cut up the credit cards.
But Republicans control only one-half of one-third of the federal government. As a consequence of divided government, finding an agreement on spending cuts and taxes has been difficult, and Congress has squandered major opportunities to rein in Washington's out-of-control spending. We were unable to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution because it could not get enough bipartisan support, and the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction could not come to an agreement because Democrats would not drop a proposed trillion dollar tax hike on the very people we are depending on to create jobs.
It never should have reached this point. Congress should take a page from Nebraskans whose frugal ways reflect good, old-fashioned commonsense. In Nebraska, we have a balanced budget requirement just like 49 other states. As a result, we continue to live within our means and have not fallen into the trap of overspending which has stymied the national economy.
We cannot continue to keep spending money we don't have. History shows no nation has ever borrowed, taxed, and spent its way in to prosperity. No Nebraska family or business could operate the way Washington has over the years and survive financially. But time has not yet run out for us to meet the challenges of addressing our massive debt. The House will press onward with the commitments we have made to reducing government spending and removing barriers standing in the way of private-sector job growth.
While we did not achieve all of the desired outcomes, our efforts have brought our enormous fiscal challenges into greater focus. We must continue to work toward a permanent solution to our spending-driven debt crisis so our nation can remain the beacon of hope and opportunity for the world it has always been. Doing anything less is not an option.
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