Joint Chambers’ of Commerce Statement In Support of the Balanced Budget Amendment
Tue, August 2, 2011

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Greater Omaha Chamber
Lincoln Chamber of Commerce

The Nebraska, Lincoln and Greater Omaha Chambers of Commerce are united in support of enactment of a federal Balanced Budget Amendment.

The recent debt limit debate highlights the urgent need to find a way of requiring the federal government to make hard choices required to live within its means. The following facts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce illustrate the gravity of the situation: 

  • If left unchecked, the nation's fiscal woes will discourage private investment, stall economic growth and job creation, lower our standard of living, and cause a serious decline in U.S. competitiveness;
  • The primary focus of a long-term debt reduction plan should be on curbing excessive spending, both discretionary and mandatory, since more than 55% of federal outlays are mandatory expenditures;
  • According to the Congressional Research Service, in FY2010, the last completed fiscal year, the U.S. government spent $3.456 trillion (23.8% of GDP) and collected $2.162 trillion in revenue (14.9% of GDP), resulting in a budget deficit of $1.294 trillion (8.9% of GDP).  This type of fiscal management is unsustainable in both the business world and the sphere of government.

Nebraska and most other states across our great country live within the reasonable spending and revenue restraints of balanced budget provisions, and we believe the federal government should too. 

We urge Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson, Senator Mike Johanns, Representative Lee Terry, Representative Jeff Fortenberry and Representative Adrian Smith to co-sponsor, support, advocate for and do everything in their power to bring about passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Wendy Birdsall, CCE, IOM
President
Lincoln Chamber of Commerce

Barry Kennedy, CAE, IOM President
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry

David G. Brown
President and CEO
Greater Omaha Chamber

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