Spending Cuts and Debt
One of the greatest responsibilities given to Congress is the monumental task of allocating the federal budget. For the last three decades our federal deficit has averaged three percent of gross domestic product (GDP). According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal budget deficit reached $1.1 trillion. The national debt at the end of 2012 was over $16 trillion dollars. While these numbers may seem difficult to comprehend, one thing is clear—Congress cannot continue the current rate of spending.
Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Clinton and current advisor to President Obama, has said that, “This debt is like a cancer…It is truly going to destroy the country from within.” There is consensus among reasonable people of all political stripes that we simply cannot continue this dangerous fiscal irresponsibility. At a time when median household income has fallen and families across the U.S. have had to make hard decisions to keep their budgets in order, the previous Congress threw common sense out the window, and increased spending by nearly $980 billion. That type of recklessness is saddling our children and grandchildren with a crushing burden. When we have to borrow 40 cents of each dollar we spend, most of it from China, we are fundamentally compromising our ability to compete in the 21st century. Indeed, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs under President Obama, warns that “[T]he biggest threat we have to our national security is our debt.”
I am committed to eliminating wasteful spending, making tough decision to cut where necessary and bringing our budget back to a manageable level. American families have to do more with less and the federal government must follow suit.