Statement from U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo on upcoming vote on Cut, Cap and Balance:
The House will vote tomorrow on the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. This vote comes at a critical juncture in America and is essential to restoring our economic viability.
Our national debt is the most dangerous threat facing our country as it consumes ninety-five percent of the nation’s GDP. The national debt is currently at an all-time high of nearly $14.3 trillion, meaning that every American owes more than $46,000 to our creditors. Even more alarming, the national debt has increased by $3.7 trillion since President Obama took office. In comparison, it took the United States from 1776 until 1992 to reach the same amount of debt that President Obama accrued in only two and a half years.
We must get our spending under control. Raising the debt ceiling without serious spending reforms such as a balanced budget amendment would be nothing more than a green light for more of President Obama’s failed spending programs, more job destroying tax hikes, and more crushing debt. President Obama has continuously failed to provide the leadership necessary to guide us through this budgetary crisis and he has ignored the American people. Neither the president nor the Democratic members of Congress have laid out a concrete plan to get our nation’s debt under control.
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The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act is a permanent solution to controlling our debt. It proposes a three-step plan to fixing the debt problems burdening our nation. First, the plan cuts $111 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending in FY 2012 and returns spending to 2008 levels. Second, it would place a statutory cap on federal spending of 19.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product. Third, the bill requires a Balanced Budget Amendment to pass Congress before the debt ceiling can be increased. Only a constitutional amendment can legally force Congress to pass a balanced budget and erase the national debt.
A balanced budget amendment has garnered overwhelming support over a span of three decades. President Ronald Reagan stated that such an amendment was the only way “stop government squandering, overtaxing ways, and save our economy.” Forty-nine states currently have some form of balanced budget requirement, and Congress was just one vote shy of an amendment in 1995. Last week, the President said that we did not need a constitutional amendment to enforce spending reforms. I say hogwash. We need to make it the law of the land and prevent more failed spending programs that add to our debt, but fail to create jobs.
Extraordinary problems call for extraordinary solutions. With our current borrowing rate at roughly 40 cents of every dollar we spend, we are sending the bill and all of its burdens to our children and grandchildren. We are at historic crossroads in America, and there is no greater time than now to permanently fix our national debt issues. The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act ensures that the future of America is secure and that our nation continues to be the greatest place on earth to raise our children and grandchildren.