Guest Post: We Need A Balanced Budget Amendment
Every time I talk with North Dakotans, one message is clear—Washington is on an unsustainable path and it needs to change. President Obama’s out-of-control spending is unacceptable. Our rising debt is unacceptable. And allowing this debt to grow, without reform, is unacceptable.
Washington is not only broken—it’s broke. Time and time again, Washington has proven that left to its own devices, it is incapable of living within its means. Near-term spending cuts are necessary to get our country back on track, but it won’t be enough unless we also enact long-term changes.
That’s why I’ve been fighting hard for a Balanced Budget Amendment, which will finally receive a vote within the month. In order to change Washington, we need to first change the way Washington does business and I believe this is the only mechanism that would halt President Obama’s out-of-control spending and force Washington not to spend more than it takes in.
Fifteen years ago, Congress had the opportunity to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, and it failed by a single vote in the Senate. Back then, our national debt was $4.9 trillion. In less than 15 years since then, our debt has nearly tripled to $14.8 trillion and it’s growing by $3 million every minute—that’s more than $4 billion each and every day.
Since President Obama took office the national debt has increased by $3.7 trillion. To put that in perspective, it took the United States 216 years, from 1776 until 1992, to accumulate the same amount of debt that Obama has borrowed in just 2.5 years.
To pay for this out-of-control spending, the United States must borrow money from other countries. We borrow 42 cents for every dollar we spend. Of that, nearly half is owed to foreign nations, and half of that is owed to China. If you break that down, every American today owes $46,000 toward the national debt.
Fifteen years ago, Congress could have ensured that our children and grandchildren never had to face a nation burdened with nearly $15 trillion in debt—yet that is the future we will hand the next generation, unless Washington changes the course it is on. Let’s not make the same mistake again.
We have a duty to the next generation to leave this country better off than we found it. That’s what we do in North Dakota.
North Dakota families and small business know that you can’t spend more than you take in. They balance their budgets, the state of North Dakota balances its budget—Washington needs to do the same.
We can no longer afford to kick the can down the road. And North Dakotans know that we cannot do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.
That’s why I’m fighting to change the way Washington works and put the brakes on President Obama’s reckless, out-of-control spending that threatens to drive our nation further into debt. I am committed to listening to North Dakotans and I will proudly support a Balanced Budget Amendment when it comes before Congress later this month.
For more information about the Balanced Budget Amendment, please visit www.berg.house.gov/bba.
Congressman Rick Berg represents North Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives.Tags: balanced budget amendment, North Dakota News, Rick Berg