Texas Congressman Jodey Arrington Calls on the States to Put the Federal Government on a Fiscally Sustainable Path

Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX), Chair of the US House of Representatives Budget Committee addressed attendees at ALEC’s States and Nation Policy Summit this past November. Watch his remarks here:


Congressman Arrington observed that our national debt was unsustainable and would eventually lead to a sovereign debt crisis; compromise our national security as well as US leadership in the world; and destroy our economy along with our way of life. His concerns have been echoed by a wide array economists and our nation’s military establishment for years.

America’s national debt exceeds $34 trillion and is growing by $1 trillion every hundred days. This year the interest to service the debt alone will be greater than the defense budget and threatens our status as the world’s reserve currency.

Unlike many bearers of sobering news, Congressman Arrington offered constructive solutions to America’s fiscal challenges. He contends that the creation of a fiscal debt commission could create opportunities to educate the public about the dangers inherent in Washington DC’s spending habit and could also identify solutions to address the debt. The Congressman also called for an Article V amendments convention to propose a fiscal responsibility amendment and has concluded that the 34-state threshold to compel Congress to call a convention of the states was reached in 1979.

Unfortunately, the American public may not recognize that our expanding national debt is a problem that needs to be addressed until the nation experiences a debt-related crisis which may be too late to avoid catastrophic consequences. The optimal time to face this challenge head-on is before we are in fiscal emergency to avoid impoverishing future generations of Americans. In 1790, James Madison observed that “a Public Debt is a Public curse” – it is time for our country to take his words seriously. If you would like to learn more about the states’ role in putting the nation’s fiscal house in order, contact me at kjones@alec.org.

In Depth: Federalism

Genuine accountability to hardworking taxpayers results when state and local legislators work with members of the community to determine a plan of action that is right for each individual state, city or town. Real solutions to America’s challenges can be found in the states – America’s fifty laboratories of democracy…

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