If Congress can't balance America's budget, Congressmen and women should be forced to survive on less. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
When I talk to constituents back in the district, they all say the same thing: Washington is broken.
Too often, Congress does not experience the painful results of bad legislation. Americans have seen lawmakers exempt themselves from bad laws ; the most recent being an exclusion from the harmful results of Obamacare.
We cannot change how Washington works if those running the federal government do not feel the negative effects their actions cause. Itís time for that to change, and we should start by focusing on the feckless spending coming out of the nationís capital.
Seemingly every few months, Congress foists another increase in the debt ceiling on the American people, running up our credit card at the expense of future generations.
In the next few weeks, the big spenders in Washington will be doing it again.
Our country is going to be faced with another doom scenario in which the White House demands a debt ceiling increase without any cuts in spending.
While Democrats continue to demand more and more spending, itís safe to say that our current debt problem has been a bipartisan achievement.
But itís always easier to simply kick the can down the road, forcing the next generation to deal with the ramifications, rather than actually making the tough decisions today.
The current national debt has surpassed $17 trillion and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, it is going to head towards $25 trillion in the next 10 years. This cannot go on forever. We need to change course.
Too few in Congress have shown a willingness to demand a balanced budget. So Iíve decided to help motivate my colleagues by introducing a new bill.
Itís time that members of Congress to be disciplined for running a deficit. Thatís why I have introduced the Spending Accountability Act, which mandates that Congress receive a deduction of 15 percent in their salary if the federal budget during the most recent fiscal year did not balance. In effect, if we in the Capitol cannot do the job of balancing the budget, members of Congress should not receive their full pay.
The job of a congressman is to protect our rights, not take them away.
The national debt has been approaching crisis levels for years, and no action has been taken in Congress. If my colleagues will not balance the budget because itís the right thing to do, maybe they will act when it hits them in their pocketbook personally. Itís time to change how Washington does business. This is a first step.
Congressman Kerry Bentivolio, R-Milford, represents Michiganís 11th District.