We write to you today to strongly urge that you vote "no" to increasing the debt ceiling unless serious, substantial cuts are made to the federal budget and substantial reforms are made to our budget process. No longer should we be giving Congress a blank check. Congress has proven time and time again its inability to control its spending of taxpayer dollars, and simply raising the limit on what we are able to borrow ignores this addiction to overspending.
When we as American citizens max out our credit cards, we cut them up and/or the credit card company halts our line of credit. When Congress overspends taxpayer dollars, it raises the amount our nation can borrow. Worse yet, it has done so dozens of times without any complementary legislation to make sure we prevent this from happening again. In fact, since 1962, Congress has raised the debt ceiling a staggering 74 times. That’s an average of 1.5 times a year. But this year’s vote is especially critical because, as you consider raising our nation’s line of credit, we are at serious risk of being punished by having our credit ratings lowered. This would be pushing us further down the path that we have seen Greece tread already – and it is not a path the American people can afford to take. Our families and small businesses are already struggling to stay afloat in the wake of this so-called “jobless recovery.”
There is, however, a solution. If you can put partisan politics aside, and stop coddling the special interests that helped to elect you, we can work together and use this as an opportunity to solve our spending problem, not make it worse. If the debt ceiling is to be raised, it must be coupled with a Balanced Budget Amendment. This Amendment would set in place legal requirements for keeping our fiscal house in order, and would stop us from overspending – the very problem that got us into this mess in the first place.
We heard you talk about your willingness to cut federal spending throughout the last campaign cycle, but now is the time to walk the walk. We urge you to do the right thing and make the tough votes that will save our nation’s economy and keep America a place where our children and grandchildren will have the opportunity we have all benefited from so greatly.