Friday, January 28, 2011

Just Say "Yeah Right"

Hey Johnny!  I Have Eight Grandchildren And I'd Like To Believe You But...If Congress Can't Find The Political Backbone To "Just Say No" To Increased Federal Spending, Why Would I Believe They Would Have The Guts To Pass A Consitutional Ammendment To Balance The Federal Budget ?
With our national debt skyrocketing past an unprecedented $14 trillion and our deficit spending surging to $1.5 trillion this year, it is urgent that Washington get its fiscal house in order. These spending habits are unsustainable and jeopardize our credit rating and the very financial future of our country. That is why I am joining several of my colleagues in again calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget.

Americans are sitting at their kitchen tables every day scrutinizing their family budgets, prioritizing how they will spend their paychecks and finding savings where they can. They have had to make very tough choices in the past few years during this economic recession, but they have watched in dismay as the federal government has failed to make the same sacrifices. The American people sent a clear message in November’s election that they will no longer tolerate Washington’s endless spending spree, and a balanced budget requirement would demand from our government what every American has had to ask of themselves: to live within our means.

In my state, the Georgia constitution requires the Legislature to balance the state’s budget every year and spend only the amount it collects in revenues. That is not always easy and it forces Georgia’s elected officials to make tough choices, but it ensures that Georgia won’t face the problem of massive debt that other states are facing.

I spent 17 years in the Georgia Legislature, and for 12 of those 17 years I was an appropriator. When I was approached with appropriations requests, Georgia’s balanced budget requirement required me to justify every penny of spending. And more importantly, it allowed me to just say “no.”

With our federal budget in such disarray, the only way we can restore fiscal responsibility and sanity is to prohibit Congress from spending money it doesn’t have. A constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget would force Congress to finally just say “no.”

In addition to passing a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget, we must also reform our broken appropriations process and reduce wasteful spending. That is why I am also pushing the Biennial Budget Appropriations Act to switch Congress from an annual appropriations process to a two-year cycle, with a requirement that every other year be devoted to scrutinizing federal programs to determine if they should be continued, reduced or eliminated. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democratic senator who has firsthand experience with biennial budgeting from her tenure as governor of New Hampshire, is among those who have joined me in pushing this legislation.

Not only would biennial budgeting improve the efficiency of the budgeting process, but it would give Congress much needed time to devote to achieving a balanced budget. Congress has repeatedly failed to pass the 12 annual spending bills on time and frequently has resorted to passing omnibus bills at the last minute. Last year, Congress failed to complete work on a single one of the 12 appropriations bills before adjourning for the year. Clearly, what we are doing now is not working, and we must change the paradigm of how we budget and spend in Washington.

I have nine grandchildren. The rest of my life is about seeing to it that we leave them a country that is as free, as prosperous and as safe as the country our parents left to us. The challenge of our time is our debt and the deficit. It is time to take bold steps to reverse Washington’s unsustainable course.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) is a Republican who represents Georgia in the U.S. Senate.

1 comment:

kbos2hm said...

hey jonny is that just a famous name used in america it sounds so american jonny is used in jingle all the way i dont belive any goverments or congress people are there to help you they are there for the money