Oversight Hearing: Energy Independence - Domestic Opportunities to Reverse California's Growing Dependence on Foreign Oil
In August of 2010, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs warned that the greatest threat to our national security was our national debt. That was $4 trillion of debt ago. In fact, since Inauguration day, 2009, we have accumulated more total government debt than we had run up from the first day of the Washington Administration through the third year of the George W. Bush administration.
Our Constitution assigns the principle responsibility over the public purse to the House of Representatives. Under that Constitutional doctrine, a dollar can't be spent by this government unless the House says it gets spent. Yet today, spending increasingly seems to be out of our hands - driven automatically by a variety of provisions and practices that thwart the very design of the Constitution.
The question before the House is whether we are going to continue to ignore the economic consequences of the major actions we take - or start recognizing that incentives matter and that the legislation we pass has profound economic consequences that must be taken into account.
Balancing this budget and ultimately paying down the national debt is a national security imperative; it is an economic imperative; and it is a moral imperative.