I am a co-sponsor of a balanced budget constitutional amendment because we must do something about our skyrocketing debt. This amendment requires the federal government to make the same difficult choices every family, business and state have to make. It astounds me that many members of Congress aggressively fight the balanced budget idea so they can continue their deficit spending.
The new balanced budget amendment takes a different approach than previous attempts by first requiring a balanced budget and second capping that budget at 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product - the historic level of tax revenue from the U.S. economy. Previous amendments focused on spending caps. This bill uses the historic level of tax revenue as a benchmark instead of the historic level of spending.
This approach to a balanced budget is more realistic to handle our problem. If we cap our spending at current or slightly reduced levels, we still would need to borrow and add to our debt. The new approach forces the federal government to do what states do - live within their means and give everyone an incentive to grow our economy. The bill does have provisions allowing for increased debt limits in times of war or emergency.
A balanced budget amendment would have to pass both houses of Congress by a 2/3 majority and be approved by 3/4 of states before being added to the Constitution.