Quite simply, Big Creek could not be built today in the United States. Environmentalists would claim that the pristine nature of the San Joaquin River would be unnecessarily altered, citing a newly discovered colony of spotted newts or dappled dragonflies in the way of the proposed penstocks. Unions would demand blanket representation without elections — and every imaginable compensation for such hazardous duty. Workers would apply for stress-related disability benefits given the dizzying heights and the dank subterranean mining. Government regulators and inspectors would outnumber project engineers.
Upper-income homeowners are more confident in their home value than those who earn less. Investors are much more confident than non-investors about their home’s value. Seventy-one percent (71%) of government workers believe their home is worth more than the mortgage. Just 50% of private sector employees and 42% of retirees share such optimism. This result comes at a time when confidence that home values will improve has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded.
In December 2008, 61% believed their home was worth more than their mortgage. While the numbers have declined since then, this is the first time ever that the number believing they had equity in their home stayed below 50% for two months in a row.
We Need a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
The fiscal crisis our country finds itself in is the result of many years of our federal government living beyond its means. Though in recent weeks we have heard much talk about cutting spending and reducing our debt, the past has taught us that the President and Congress will not make the difficult decisions necessary to get our fiscal house in order without a tough budget mechanism in place to force accountability. Washington’s borrows 40 cents of every dollar spent, and I strongly believe a critical part of kicking this reckless habit is passage of a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the U.S. Constitution. A BBA would turn talk into action by constitutionally binding the President to request and Congress to approve a balanced federal budget each year.
We will soon force a vote on the legislation in the Senate. In recent weeks, I have advocated for a BBA as a fundamental reform required as part of any agreement to raise the debt ceiling. Click here to view a video compilation of my recent remarks on the importance of a BBA.