Higher taxes do not create jobs; they create incentive for Washington to spend more money, which inevitably leads to higher debt and more tax increases. The possibility that this reckless cycle might continue is part of what drives the uncertainty plaguing our economy. Job creators face a vast array of unknowns spawned by an overzealous government that funds its misadventures with borrowed dollars. American entrepreneurs have capital that they might invest in hiring if they had confidence Uncle Sam would not drastically increase the cost of doing business through new regulatory schemes and higher taxes.
Enacting a balanced budget amendment would force Washington to live within its means, breaking the habit of borrowing more money for more government. Some are concerned that this may be a backdoor incentive for tax increases.
On the contrary, it would provide much greater transparency and accountability to politicians. If our public debate can truly shift to the need to live within our means by reducing spending and not raising taxes, then the American people would remove any temptation of some politicians to hike taxes. And by requiring government to spend only what it takes in, the out-of-control regulatory regime built on borrowed dollars would receive a much needed haircut.
Living within one’s means is only a foreign concept in Washington. Families and businesses all across our great country must balance their books, and it is past time for Washington to do the same. This is no longer a matter of dollars. The looming debt crisis is a threat to our prosperity and our security. This debate is about protecting the promise and the dream of America.
U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., is chairman of the Republican Policy Committee in the House of Representatives.