With the House set to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment next week, economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth has an op-ed up on Real Clear Markets explaining how it would impose much-needed fiscal discipline on Washington and help create a better environment for private-sector job growth:

“A balanced budget amendment would impose spending discipline, and would protect the American economy against the down-to-the wire bargaining over spending and taxes that is a habitual feature of our budget process. … Additional certainty about fiscal policy would make investment and consumption decisions easier, and would facilitate economic growth and job creation.  With unemployment at 9.2 percent, after cumulative deficits of trillions of dollars, we clearly need another path.

“What we've seen since World War II is that the government is profligate and incapable of disciplining itself when it comes to spending.  It writes laws that lead to increased spending over time without further congressional action, so-called entitlements such as Medicare and food stamps.  …Why wait until we lose our AAA credit rating?  Some form of balanced budget amendment would improve the budget process and put spending on a lower path.

Furchtgott-Roth – director of the Center for Employment Policy at the Hudson Institute – is one of more than 150 economists who have backed Boehner’s call for spending cuts that exceed any increase in the debt limit. This is one of three things Republicans have said all along are needed for a debt limit increase to pass the House, the other two being no job-crushing tax hikes and real reforms to restrain future spending, like spending caps and a Balanced Budget Amendment.  

Speaker Boehner and House GOP leaders will hold a press conference today at 1:15 p.m. to discuss next week’s vote.  For now, you can check out a video message Speaker Boehner recorded this week voicing his continued support for a Balanced Budget Amendment. “Adoption of the Balanced Budget Amendment would help ensure such spending restraints are set in stone,” he says in the video “and the certainty it provides will help create a better environment for job creation across the country.”