The national debt is $17.1 trillion, or more than $54,000 per person. It is increasing by more than $2.6 billion per day and is expected to equal the country’s total annual economic output in 25 years.
Yet, even with America facing a $750 billion deficit in 2014, the federal government shut down this year because Washington leaders refused to stop spending money we don’t have.
That is why the Michigan Senate approved Senate Joint Resolution V to officially petition Congress to take the necessary steps toward passing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Nineteen states have already approved the resolution. Once adopted by 15 more states, it becomes binding on Congress.
A balanced budget amendment would force Congress to cut up the national credit card, spend tax dollars more efficiently and hopefully begin reducing the nation’s debt burden.
I co-sponsored the resolution because it’s about time the federal government did what Southwest Michigan families and job providers do every month: live within their means. Michigan has a balanced budget because we followed the example of our families and made the tough choices needed to make ends meet; so should Congress.
Another way for Michigan to ensure fiscal responsibility would be to implement a two-year state budget.
I sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 to have us do two-year budgeting because it gives schools and local governments the budgetary certainty they need and allows lawmakers to focus more time on improving the economy and reducing spending.
In the end, both these measures are about putting some common sense into federal and state budgeting.