Seventh District Pulse - The Debt Ceiling
Today, the media is focusing on the October 1st deadline to pass a government funding resolution, but there is another pivotal matter that the House will soon address, perhaps even this week, and that is the debt ceiling. The "debt ceiling" is a statutory cap on total federal borrowing. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has told the American people that the Federal government will exceed its capacity to borrow on October 17 of this year.
I have always said, "No," to raising the debt limit unless it is coupled with efforts to balance the budget. I have voted for balanced budget amendments to the U.S. Constitution and even introduced balanced budgets of my own on the House floor. Though we are making progress, even the most conservative Members of Congress cannot find a way to balance the budget by tomorrow, and until we do, America must continue to borrow.
Our approach in the House for the past two and a half years has called for a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar in debt limit increase; such a path would balance the budget within 10 years. We've been successful so far implementing it, and in the two and a half years that I have been in Congress, we have cut annual deficits more than in half from $1.6 trillion annually to now less than $700 billion. That said, many believe that America cannot "cut" its way into prosperity but rather must "grow" into prosperity, and in fact economic growth policies such as real tax reform, regulatory reform, and domestic energy production would lead to smaller deficits for America through economic growth and more jobs. Requiring a dollar of deficit reduction through economic growth for every dollar of debt limit increase would also balance the budget within 10 years.
Spending reductions are certainly a priority for me, but economic growth is undeniably important. Do you value good economic growth policies as much as you value spending reductions as a mechanism for moving America towards a balanced budget?
20.2% No. Dollar-for-dollar spending cuts are my priority. I don't care where you cut the money from, but Congress must make those cuts. Some people call it "austerity," but I call it common sense budgeting around my family dinner table.
6.2% No, I don't value economic growth as much as I value spending cuts, but I do see the value in having some of both. I would prefer a bill that focuses primarily on cuts in spending, but if you can't find all of the dollars there, economic growth would be a good second choice.
44.1% Yes. We have to address our long-term debt situation and we can't do that without both spending reductions and economic growth. Tax reform, for example, could put the American economy on steroids. We must have more jobs and more growth if America is to prosper long-term, and so anything dollar-for-dollar that you can do to decrease deficits through economic growth will be a winning solution.
15.2% Yes, because so far the only things that Congress and the President have passed into law are spending cuts. Whether national security or investments here at home, I worry that soon we will have cut too much. We need to move beyond just cutting and we need to look at long-term policy goals. If we use these negotiation opportunities to restore growth to our economy, then the rest of our issues will take care of themselves over time. Jobs and the economy must be the top priority, and "pro-growth" policies are needed to get us there.
.2% I don't know and I have no opinion on this issue.
13.9% None of these answers reflect my views.