Our system of government has become corrupted. We must limit the ability of the government to hand out favors and to burden future generations. When politicians are required to secure funding prior to enacting legislation they are forced to 1. Look for cuts (or savings) in current programs or 2. To raise taxes. Both of these options effect the American people directly and would garner a more active an informed electorate.
A similar rule was included in the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 and was allowed to expire in 2002. Total federal spending as a percentage of GDP decreased each year this legislation was in force. Furthermore GDP almost doubled during this same time period.
In principle, any sane person would agree that we all should live within our means, and that should include the government of the USA. However, reality is way, way off. We cannot sustain our standard of living without incurring in debt. It is tempting to blame our Congress and our Presidents as particularly dumb and reckless, but actually this has been a consistent pattern with all mature empires (mature is a polite way to say "decadent"). As the standard of living improves, more and more citizens want a slice of the good life as opposed to sacrificing themselves, and as a result, spending has to go beyond the real share of the country's production available to those ordinary citizens. However, there is a way to forcefully redistribute a country's resources without tapping into debt: it's called communism. And I'm actually not opposed to it, but since the vast majority of our people wants nothing to do with it, the only realistic alternatives are a) keep increasing debt and b) start a dive into third world-style living. In case you're wondering, the very long term answer is always b), no matter how fiscally conservative or loose spending our government is.