For those who doubt the ability of Congress to balance the federal budget, consider:
The Civil War sent federal spending skyrocketing from around $70 million to more than $1 billion in 1865. Again, however, war was followed by a long period of retrenchment, as federal spending was held constant and the debt was paid down. Spending was roughly flat at about $300 million for two decades, 1870 to 1890. The budget was balanced every year from 1866 to 1893.
That’s from Chris Edwards at CATO, one of the reliably insightful and reasonable budget experts in Washington. Read Chris’s whole essay at National Review.