Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry: Washington Must Exercise Restraint with Taxpayer Dollars

Calls for constitutional amendment to balance federal budget
Thursday, January 07, 2010  •  Press Release

SAN ANTONIO – Gov. Rick Perry today called for increased fiscal restraint at the federal level and the strengthening of taxpayer protection through the passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring Congress to balance the federal budget.

“I am convinced that a constitutional limit on Washington’s spending sprees and irresponsible borrowing is the only boundary they will understand and heed,” Gov. Perry said. “Otherwise, the hard work that Texas and states like ours have done to make prudent fiscal decisions will be washed away by Washington’s growing avalanche of excess.”

The governor noted that while Texas has demonstrated a strong commitment to fiscal accountability by setting budget priorities that have helped keep the state’s tax burden low and economy strong, the federal government continues to burden future generations with an unprecedented and unmanageable national debt. This irresponsible spending has accelerated in recent years, with Congress pressing for massive expansions of Medicaid, imposing cap-and-tax restrictions, and forcing other policy mandates that threaten the economic prosperity of every state. Last month, Congress voted to raise the national debt limit to $12.4 trillion. As it stands, the national debt equates to a burden of more than $39,000 per person.

The governor today also sent letters to fellow governors and Texas lawmakers asking for their support in calling on Congress to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced federal budget.

“We are responsible to the taxpayers of our states to budget and lead in a fiscally responsible manner in an effort to keep our states economically competitive and our businesses and citizens prosperous,” Gov. Perry wrote to fellow governors. “Yet all the responsible and difficult decisions we make will be for nothing if the federal government is allowed to continue to spend our nation into an inescapable pit of debt.” 
Gov. Perry is committed to protecting Texas taxpayers from runaway spending. This week, the governor also proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to increase taxes, and requiring the Legislature to limit growth in the state budget to no more than growth in population and inflation combined. The governor has also called for the establishment of a statewide inspector general to maximize cost efficiency and effectiveness at state agencies.

In Their Words »
Michael Quinn Sullivan
President, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility
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