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No Debt Ceiling Increase Without Key Spending, Health Reforms, Nation’s Oldest Taxpayer Group Tells Congress

May 16, 2011
By Douglas Kellogg

(Alexandria, VA) – Today, the President of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union, Duane Parde, sent a letter to Congress calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment, a statutory spending cap without any tax increases, and repeal of the 2010 health care “reform” law as conditions for taxpayers to stomach an increase in the debt ceiling.

A strong Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) is a necessity as elected officials have failed to contain a rapidly inflating federal budget over the past decade. NTU supports several BBA proposals, most prominent among them S.J. Res. 10 introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and co-sponsored by all 47 Republican Senators, and H.J. Res. 56 introduced by Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL) in the House. The measure incorporates a Congressional “supermajority” vote requirement for any tax increase, a spending limit, and a balanced budget requirement.

Ratification of a BBA by the required 38 states may take years, and thus, NTU contends, short-term spending restraint is needed as well. Spending limitations similar to the proposed “CAP Act” put forth by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) will begin to restore a more responsible level of federal spending with a spending cap at 20.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). NTU supports a limit at the post-war historical revenue average of 18 percent of GDP.

The recent reckless increase in government spending has created the mess that has led to the current debate over an increase in the $14.4 trillion debt ceiling. Revenues are not the problem. Thus, taxes must not be raised in a futile attempt to keep up with the rapidly inflating federal budget.

Some may argue that the debt ceiling must be raised to avoid catastrophe. However, boosting the debt ceiling while not addressing the root problem – overspending – may lead to a disaster of its own: investors demanding premiums for holding American debt or just walking away from it.

“What good is increasing the debt ceiling if nothing is done to curb the reckless spending that will perpetually test any limit on borrowing, no matter how high?” said NTU President Duane Parde. “If Congress fails to enact short-term and long-term restraints on the growth of all federal spending, including health and other entitlement programs, NTU will vigorously oppose an increase in the debt ceiling as irresponsible in the extreme.”

The 362,000-member NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. More information on NTU’s work is available at www.ntu.org.