It does not require an individual with an economics degree to see that our economy is stuck in the mud and it does not appear to want to improve any time soon. All across our great nation, Americans are feeling a tremendous strain that this downturn has caused. Washington's out of control spending, especially the large amount of federal money that has been spent over the last three years, has not helped people find work or provide for their families. Federal spending has not brought the prosperity that people were promised. For example, in 2000 federal spending was roughly 18% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP.) Today it is close to 24%.
On April 15th, the House passed H.Con.Res 34, legislation establishing the budget for the United States for fiscal year 2012. This proposal suggests cuts of $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade, creates private sector jobs, and eases the debt burden we are leaving to our children and grand children. This is an important first step in an effort to bring our out of control spending, under control. However, there is still much to be done if we want to get our economy back on track.
The simple fact is we still need to balance our federal budget and put our fiscal house in order. If states and families have to balance their budgets, so should the federal government. I introduced a balanced budget amendment both last Congress and this year, because I firmly believe that Washington needs a "stick" in order to get our fiscal house in order. I am a member of the Balanced Budget Amendment caucus, which allows me and my colleagues to gather support for an effort that has become too important to let fail. A balanced budget amendment is an effort to rein-in government spending and help restore fiscal order by restricting the federal government's spending to no more than what it brings in.
As you might have seen recently, a bigger government means a smaller private sector, which leads to slower job growth. It is time for my colleagues and I to take action to permanently change Washington's spending habits, invigorate our economy and allow for growth within the private sector, so that American's can get back to work. The health of our nation has always depended upon the strength our industries.
When Americans have jobs, they prosper. America is the land of prosperity and we must promote that prosperity for the good of future generations.