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OP-ED: America's security is at risk thanks to Congress' reckless spending habits. Let's wake up

July 25, 2019
In The News

The recently announced budget deal by congressional leadership – combined with the 87th debt ceiling increase since 1959 – is a bad deal for the future of all Americans. Congress continues to abdicate its responsibility to protect the future of this great nation and discharge the constitutional duty to keep our country safe from the grave economicand national security threats posed by our reckless spending habits.

President Trump’s National Security Strategy rightly highlights the need to reduce the national debt as a threat to our national security, and he has been joined by other national security leaders who have warned that continued increases in our national debt will eventually hinder our ability to sustain our national security. And yet, members of Congress have produced another budget that will irrationally increase the national debt and enshrine trillion-dollar deficits on our nation’s financial books.

When I entered Congress just over two years ago, America’s national debt was nearing $20 trillion, and the deficit was close to $600 billion. Today, the national debt has risen to over $22 trillion, and our deficit will approach $1 trillion each year. The national debt has more than doubled since the start of President Barack Obama’s administration and quadrupled since the beginning of President George W. Bush’s administration.

Critics will seek to place blame for the debt and deficit on tax cuts – specifically the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was signed into law at the end of 2017. However, economic experts credit the TCJA for helping the American economy experience a sustained resurgence. In fact, Monthly Treasury Statements show that government revenues have increased since the TCJA’s enactment, but so, too, has government spending. Spending is the problem.

In the next decade alone, the national debt is projected to surpass the $30 trillion threshold, Social Security will pay out more money than it takes in, and Medicare will experience solvency issues. These fiscal disasters will make today’s fiscal insanity seem tame in comparison.

Congress can and should change the course of history. Instead, our most recent budget proposal further perpetuates our fiscal irresponsibility by raising our debt limit and increasing government spending.

Millions of American families and businesses reject this delinquent spending. We understand the concept of debt and deficits – and the consequences of our spending decisions. If we go into debt or make unwise spending decisions, we are responsible for those decisions. When Congress goes into debt, future generations pay for our recklessness.

Most – if not all – of our current class of lawmakers and bureaucrats will be out of office in the coming decades, but the new class of public servants will be saddled with crisis management decisions when the country can no longer borrow enough to pay all of our bills.

Our constituents deserve a future that is free of economic collapse due to their government’s overspending. Our children and grandchildren deserve better than the fiscal chaos and ruin they will experience in future decades. It’s up to Congress to come to our senses and fix our spending problem while we still have the options left to do so. I call on my colleagues to reject the current budget framework agreement and work to produce legislation that puts our country on a track of meaningful and permanent fiscal responsibility.