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Freedom Fridays

June 8, 2018 – Government Waste Erodes our Freedom, Part VII: Recognizing the National Debt as a Threat to National Security



What is the problem?

When I was elected in 2016, the national debt was nearing $20 trillion; and the national debt now exceeds $21 trillion.

For many months, tax and regulatory reform has stimulated the economy, producing record federal revenue—the highest in American history. Sadly, our deficits continue to mount. With help from the Democrats, Republicans spent wildly in the recent omnibus. As it turns out, Republicans like to spend other people’s money as much as Democrats.  

In fiscal year 2017, Federal tax revenue totaled $3,315 billion, but Federal expenditures totaled $3,981 billion, leaving the Federal Government with a one-year deficit of $666 billion.

Our national debt and deficit spending constitutes an existential threat to the nation. The most basic purpose of the federal government is to protect Americans from enemies, foreign and domestic. But unless we realize the threat of our runaway spending, I fear we will wake up and realize that we can no longer fulfill that purpose.

President Trump’s national security assessment acknowledges that our national debt is a great hazard. Earlier this year, Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated that “any nation that can’t keep its fiscal house in order eventually cannot maintain its military power.’’

We in Congress need to take seriously the responsibility to protect our nation. If we are unable to maintain our national defense, I fear we will quickly lose the great nation as we know it.


What am I doing about it?

It’s crucial that we focus on the dangers it poses to the fiscal state of our nation. I recently introduced a resolution with more than two dozen of my colleagues acknowledging that America’s debt jeopardizes our nation’s security. Our House resolution specifically recognizes that the national debt is a threat to our national security; realizes deficits are unsustainable, irresponsible, and dangerous; commits to restoring regular order in the appropriations process; and commits to addressing our Nation’s fiscal crisis by passing a balanced budget.


What are they saying?

"Our country is racing toward a disaster created by the fiscal profligacy of Congress. Not only will our children and grandchildren be forced to deal with the inability of Congress to address these problems, the national debt and the tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities that entitlements represent will leave American vulnerable, unable to face new national security challenges that will inevitably arise in the future. We applaud Rep. Biggs and others in this group of principled conservatives -- who are among the few in Congress seem to fully recognize these threats -- for breaking from this false narrative and fighting to give the military the support it truly needs, which is responsible budgeting." – Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks

Our national deficit will near one trillion dollars next year, and trillions more are projected indefinitely. This burden threatens the kind of country we leave behind for our children and grandchildren. When I was Chairman of the Budget Committee last year, we passed through the House the most conservative budget resolution in over two decades that cut $200 billion in mandatory spending and balanced our budget in ten years. Ensuring future generations have the same opportunities we have today means making hard choices – no more delays or denial. We must return to regular order and end this borrow-and-spend cycle that has gone on for far too long.” - Congressman Diane Black (TN-06)

“As Ronald Reagan said, ‘We have large deficits, not because we tax too little, but because we spend too much.’ We are heading toward a financial Armageddon if we do not get our spending under control.” - Congressman Rod Blum (IA-01)

“We are racing towards a fiscal disaster. The Republican agenda (lower taxes and lower spending and less government) must urgently be implemented to avoid a fiscal cliff that could lead to the instability of the American economy, leaving our nation incredibly vulnerable.” – Congressman Dave Brat (VA-07)

“Our nation’s security depends heavily on our economic strength and prosperity. With overspending and crippling debt, our armed forces and national security infrastructure will no longer have the resources they need to keep this country safe.” - Congressman Ken Buck (CO-04)

“Since coming to Washington, I have watched the Federal Government borrow and spend without restraint. This reckless way of governing has to end and that’s why I was proud to join other like-minded fiscal conservatives to introduce this resolution to recognize our soaring $21 trillion debt for what it is – a threat to our nation’s security.” - Congressman John Curtis (UT-03)

“Our nation is wading through debt and our federal spending is out-of-control. We cannot afford to continue down this path. Our $21 trillion plus debt is a threat to our national security.” – Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-04)

“A major reason for the collapse of the Soviet Union is that it was not economically able to support a military. The United States’ skyrocketing debt is quickly becoming a national security threat that must be addressed.” - Congressman Glenn Grothman (WI-06)

“After years of reckless spending, the United States’ national debt now stands at $21 trillion. Short-term spending patches and failure to follow the regular budget process are digging the United States into an even deeper financial hole. The national debt is a major threat to our national security, and Congress must act to balance our federal budget and reduce the debt.” - Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01)

“Each time our nation’s leading military officials testify before Congress, they acknowledge one of the biggest threats to our national security is the national debt. It is foolish to further indebt ourselves to hostile nations and jeopardize our children and grandchildren’s future in the process. Irresponsible spending must be stopped, and our leaders in Washington must come to terms with the true cost of their actions.” - Congressman Mike Johnson (LA-04)

“Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen has continually testified that the biggest threat to our national security is America’s rising debt – and we couldn’t agree more. Congress continues to dangerously march to the beat of national bankruptcy. If we are not careful, we will march our children and grandchildren right off the fiscal cliff. I do not want that future for this country.” - Congressman Walter Jones (NC-03)

“The American people sent us to Washington to change the status quo and reduce out-of-control government spending. It’s time to deal with our spending problems and balance the federal budget.” - Congressman Jim Jordan (OH-04)

“We can no longer allow the weight and burden of our national debt to impede our ability to defend our country. Congress must address this real and present threat immediately.” - Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08)

“Washington does not have an income problem; Washington has a spending problem. Our country now has an abysmal $21 trillion dollar national debt – that is completely unacceptable. The further in the hole we go, we are only getting closer to the crash of our economy. Should that happen, how will we be able to remain the number one military force in the world? We are putting the American people, and our brave service members, at great risk as we sit idly by. The time is now for my colleagues in Washington to get serious and start passing meaningful legislation to get our fiscal house in order. America depends on it.” - Congressman Ralph Norman (SC-05)

“If we don’t get our financial house in order, ultimately none of the other ongoing political fights are going to matter. Our country’s national debt and the unsustainable spending that drives it represents the existential threat to our country’s existence. Accordingly, I’m proud to be a cosponsor of this resolution.” - Congressman Mark Sanford (SC-01)

“I ran for office pledging to do my part to stop the spigot of spending and get our fiscal house in order, including slowing the growth of our massive national debt. National security experts have long warned us that our massive debt is one of our biggest national security threats. As our debt continues to grow, our interest payments grow and soon we will spend more paying down interest on the debt than on national defense. I do not accept the standard Washington presumption that nothing in the budget can be cut in order to fund important priorities without increasing the deficit. Hardworking taxpayers make tough spending decisions to stay within their budget and expect their representatives in government will do the same.” - Congressman Daniel Webster (FL-11)