Originally posted on March 9, 2010.

Congressmen Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Mike Pence (R-IN) and John Campbell (R-CA) last week introduced the Spending Limit Amendment to the U.S Constitution. This constitutional amendment would ensure that federal spending will not exceed one-fifth of the nation’s economy. The spending limit, if passed and ratified by the states, can only be suspended by a declaration of war or a two-thirds congressional vote. Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Mike Pence released a statement in the Wall Street Journal explaining the excessive growth of federal spending within recent years:

In five years, federal spending has skyrocketed to 24.7% from 19.9% of our economy. That’s the highest level since World War II. Borrowing has ballooned the national debt to $11.9 trillion from $7.3 trillion, a five-year increase equal to the accumulation of debt between President George Washington and President Bill Clinton.

Due to the rapidly increasing national debt, Pence believes that limiting spending to one-fifth of the economy is a necessity:

With our nation facing a fiscal crisis, it is time to fundamentally change the way Washington spends the taxpayers’ money. Unless we change course, the public debt will consume the entire economy in less than fifteen years. Runaway spending and record debt will make future generations of Americans less free, less prosperous and less secure.

The following graph depicts how federal spending would likely drastically change under the Spending Limit Amendment:

Spending Limit Graph
Unfortunately, the Spending Limit Amendment continues to not receive the attention it deserves. The current level of government spending is unsustainable and simply cannot be ignored. As Rep. Hensarling and Pence declare, this is a “spending cap with teeth.” It is urgent that those who believe in fiscal responsibility call their representatives and ask them to vote for the Spending Limit Amendment for the sake of America’s future prosperity.