|The federal government has run up an unsustainable debt of more than $22 trillion - and rising - and is in the process of bankrupting programs like Social Security and Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, we currently borrow 46 cents on every dollar spent by the federal government.
I’ve led and supported many efforts to responsibly reduce federal spending. My first bill introduced in Congress proposed a responsible balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. I’ve also repeatedly supported legislation that balanced the federal budget in ten years through meaningful spending cuts and not through higher taxes.
I don’t pretend to have a monopoly on good ideas to address these issues. What I do know is that most of the choices won’t be easy and will take engaged Americans and leadership from our elected officials to turn the corner. The days are over of kicking the can down the road to the next generations.
We need to have an honest discussion with the American people about how we spend their hard-earned tax dollars. About 60 percent of federal spending is dedicated to mandatory spending programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the debt – and that percentage is growing rapidly. Defense comprises about 20 percent of federal spending. Discretionary spending (i.e., education, energy and housing) make up most of the rest. No agency, no account, and no program should be off-the-table for review.
Hard-working American families and businesses know what it’s like to live on a budget. They make difficult decisions to live within their means every day, and Washington should have to do the same.