Congressman Tim Huelskamp represents the First Congressional District of Kansas. He serves on the House Budget, Agriculture, and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. He is in his freshman term, and prior to coming to Washington, he served in the Kansas State Senate for 14 years. Follow Congressman Huelskamp on Facebook, Twitter (@conghuelskamp), YouTube, and his webpage.
If this were a legal case, lawyers would be delighted in the amount of evidence that keeps appearing.
Not only have three major credit rating institutions threatened to downgrade the United States' credit ratings as a result of the nation's debt crisis, but now the top evaluator of Washington's spending patterns has weighed in. It does not bode well for Defendant Washington.
This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its latest long-term budget outlook. It enhanced existing evidence that already has said America cannot afford unchecked government spending. Notably, this CBO report affirmed what many private organizations have been saying for months and what ordinary Americans have known for years: America is about to reach a debt breaking point. The day of reckoning will be here soon if immediate action is not taken.
CBO says that if the current trajectory prevails, in the course of only one decade, publicly-held debt will exceed the entire size of America’s economy. That’s right – Washington’s reckless debt habit will be larger than the measured value of the work of every American for an entire year. This is entirely unacceptable and unsustainable, and one that scares job creators. American businesses and workers know this – when Washington runs out of foreign creditors to bail us out, they will come knocking on our door for massive tax increases.
Unlike Greece, which is facing considerable economic turmoil, America should not have to learn a lesson the hard way. There is still time to right the ship of state – and sail America back into prosperous times. It is for that reason that this week I signed a pledge to "Cut, Cap, and Balance" as a condition to raising the debt limit. This is a pledge to the people of Kansas who sent me here to restore fiscal sanity to Washington.
This pledge has been also signed by several other members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Signatories pledge to their constituents that they will not raise the debt limit unless deficits are cut, future spending is capped, and future budgets are balanced. These actions are reasonable – and frankly it is what ordinary families, successful businesses, and responsible states do in America every day.
This pledge to Kansans – and ultimately all Americans – recognizes that evidence is mounting against Washington's reckless behavior. And without adoption of cut, cap and balance and soon inside the Beltway, I fear that America’s spending will be put on trial. And the verdict then will not be in doubt – our politicians will have failed our country.