Government Reform

Record Deficits Underscore Need for Balanced Budget Amendment

Government Reform

Washington Democrats’ spending binge has resulted in the three largest deficits in American history, as the Associated Press reported last week: 

The government ran a $1.3 trillion deficit for the budget year that ended last month, the third straight year it has operated more than $1 trillion in the red. The 2011 budget deficit was the second highest on record. It's slightly ahead of the previous budget year's $1.29 trillion deficit but below the $1.41 trillion imbalance record in 2009....For 2011, the government had to borrow 36 cents of every dollar it spent. The string of massive debts has made interest on that debt the fastest growing budget category. For 2011, net interest payments rose 15.7 percent to $227 billion.”

The Wall Street Journal sounded off about the Democrats’ job-crushing spending binge in an editorial in today’s paper: 

“Maybe it's a sign of the tumultuous times, but the federal government recently wrapped up its biggest spending year, and its second biggest annual budget deficit, and almost nobody noticed. Is it rude to mention this?...

“The Obama years have racked up the three largest deficits, both in absolute amounts and as a share of GDP, since Hitler still terrorized Europe. Some increase in deficits was inevitable given the recession, but to have deficits of nearly $1.3 trillion two years into a purported economic recovery simply hasn't happened in modern U.S. history. Yet President Obama fiercely resisted even the token spending cuts for fiscal 2011 pressed by House Republicans earlier this year.

“The table also shows how close the federal budget was to balance as recently as fiscal 2007, with a deficit as low as $161 billion, or 1.2% of GDP. Those are the numbers to point to the next time someone says that the Bush tax rates are the main cause of our current fiscal woes.  Under those same tax rates in 2007, the government raised $2.57 trillion in revenue but it spent only $2.73 trillion. Four years later, the government raised $265 billion less thanks to the tepid recovery, but it spent nearly $900 billion more thanks to the never-ending Washington stimulus.”

As Speaker Boehner and House Majority Leader Cantor outlined in a recent op-ed, we need to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to make Washington live within its means, stop the spending binge, and provide certainty to job creators.  They noted that the Congress will consider a Balanced Budget Amendment, as required by law under the Budget Control Act, later this year: 

“The House and Senate will also consider a constitutional amendment requiring the federal government to balance its budget. Ratification of a balanced-budget amendment would provide greater certainty about our nation's fiscal trajectory over the long haul, helping private sector small-business people — who are being overwhelmed with uncertainty from Washington — to plan, invest and get back to creating jobs. That is the type of commitment to fiscal responsibility that S&P and other rating services are looking for.”

Be sure to check in the coming weeks to learn more about House Republican efforts to restore fiscal sanity in Democrat-run Washington – and consider supporting Speaker Boehner by making a donation today


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