State Rep. Ray Franz today welcomed William Fruth, president of POLICOM Corporation, to provide testimony on the desperate need for Congress to balance the federal budget.
Franz' House Joint Resolution CC adds Michigan to the list of states calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring the federal government to operate with an annually balanced budget.
"Congress has been overspending our nation's budget for over three decades, and there's no end in sight," said Franz, R-Onekama. "It's unrealistic and unfathomable for personal and business finances, as well as for local and state government levels, and it is unsustainable and unacceptable if our country is to have any kind of future for our children and grandchildren."
At about $17 trillion, the United States' debt load puts it on a list of 12 out of 182 nations with debt greater than the size of their economy. The debt is primarily owed to private and public investors, foreign investing entities, as well as internal federal government trust funds, such as the Social Security Trust Fund, Civil Service Retirement, and Military Retirement & Medical Medicare.
Fruth, economic development consultant with the Balance Budget Amendment Task Force in Virginia, likened America's direction to "going over Niagara Falls."
"It hasn't mattered what party is in Congress, they have continued to borrow money to run the nation, and it is breaking the back of our country," Fruth said. "At every other level, we're compelled to say 'no, there just isn't any money,' but in Washington, D.C., it's been too easy to say 'yes.'
"There are several choices we have: we can do nothing, and just hope our nation, our political system and our freedom don't collapse under soaring inflation and increased taxation; we can elect people to office who will stop the borrowing and spending cycle, but we've seen how that's worked the last 30 years; we can riot in the streets, as we've seen citizens do in other countries, but that's not good; or we can make it unlawful through a Balanced Budget Amendment for Congress to borrow and spend money it has no ability to repay."
Along with testimony from Franz, Fruth and Sen. Mike Green, who sponsored a Senate version of the Balanced Budget Amendment joint resolution, the House panel heard comments in favor of the measure from Charlie Owens, Michigan director of the National Federation of Independent Business. The committee received 'opposed' messages from the Michigan League for Public Policy, AFL-CIO and UAW.
The House Financial Liability Reform Committee is considering HJR CC and SJR V.
| From left: Bill Fruth of the Balance Budget Amendment Task Force, Charlie Owens, Michigan director of the National Federation of Independent Business, and state Rep. Ray Franz at the House Financial Liability Reform Committee meeting.