President Trump announced Monday evening that his administration, along with congressional leaders, had come to an agreement on the budget for the next two years.
“I am pleased to announce that a deal has been struck with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – on a two-year Budget and Debt Ceiling, with no poison pills,” the president tweeted. Pelosi and Schumer released a joint statement, saying the agreement will “enhance our national security and invest in middle class priorities.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, if passed by Congress, the tentative two-year deal of $2.7 trillion would suspend the debt ceiling until the end of July 2021 and “[raise] spending by nearly $50 billion next fiscal year above current levels.” It would also provide $320 billion in spending over two years, forgoing the limits put in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act, which have been waived continually since 2014.
Our national debt totals roughly $22 trillion, and it shows no signs of slowing down. This debt doesn’t even include the $122 trillion in unfunded liabilities (a.k.a., money the federal government has promised citizens, largely in the form of wealth redistribution from young to old). Not to mention, their trustees estimate Medicare will go insolvent by 2026 and Social Security will go insolvent by 2035.
Why does this matter? The simple answer is that this growing problem is a disaster waiting to happen that will ultimately cripple future generations. As a 19-year-old conservative, I watch as this gaggle of congressmen and women carelessly spend away, neglecting the damage they continuously inflict on my generation.
Both Parties Are to Blame
Every year, I watch these budget battles, and every year, I am thoroughly disappointed in the utter disregard and lack of fiscal responsibility by both parties. In today’s hyperpoliticized climate, Democrats and Republicans hardly agree on anything, but it seems the one thing they can agree on is spending our money.
Democrats favoring massive spending is predictable, considering that under President Barack Obama, the national debt grew roughly $9 trillion, more than every other previous president combined. Yet even when Republicans, the party swept into power by the tea party movement, recently controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House, they failed to limit and cut federal spending.
A few prominent Republicans, however, have voiced their dissatisfaction with the bill. According to a letter obtained by Politico, these Republicans’ message to Trump stated, “You should veto this bill because it is fiscally irresponsible,” and, “It blows well beyond what was intended with the 2011 [Budget Control Act] caps. Furthermore, it continues spending hundreds of billions more than what we take in a year and does not put our nation on a path towards a balanced budget.”
Rep. Chip Roy of Texas drafted the letter, which is circulating Capitol Hill to collect signatures from other conservative Republicans discouraged by the massive spending bill.
This growing national debt is like an ever-expanding balloon that in due course is going to pop, and when it does, the U.S. economy will crumble right beneath our feet. A country cannot sustain this massive amount of debt forever, yet as I watch these politicians in Washington champion this deal, I can’t help but think of what this beautiful country will look like 20 years from now when the bills cannot be postponed any more. Everyday American families must balance a budget in their lives to make sure they aren’t overspending, so why should the federal government be any different?
It’s Time to Call a Convention of States
This all raises the question: How can we stop this? The answer lies within Article V of the Constitution: a convention of states.
The Founding Fathers created two ways to amend the Constitution. The first is for Congress to propose and ratify an amendment by a two-thirds vote and then send it to the states, where it would need three-fourths to ratify. All 27 amendments have been added to the Constitution in this manner.
A second way is for two-thirds of state legislatures to pass a resolution calling for a “convention of states,” in which the state legislatures of all 50 states would gather together to propose amendments to the Constitution, each requiring three-fourths of the states to ratify.
Right now, as part of a grassroots movement among conservative America, fittingly called Convention of States, citizens are pressuring their state legislatures to pass resolutions calling for a convention. Some of the proposed amendments include imposing term limits on members of Congress, limiting federal overreach, and, yes, balancing the federal budget. So far, 15 states have passed resolutions calling for a convention. To learn more about Convention of States, visit its website.
This country belongs to all Americans, not just the few sitting in Washington D.C. carelessly spending our tax dollars. Sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing will get us nowhere, and it won’t stop the nonsensical spending taking place year after year. If a 19-year-old college student can understand the country’s dire fiscal future and demand better from our elected representatives, you can too.