The debt is a serious issue It is not simply a result of wasteful spending – that’s a talking point, a cop-out. And despite what some may claim, both parties share responsibility.
Within seven years, interest on our national debt will be the third-largest line item in the federal budget. We will need those dollars to invest in infrastructure, clean energy and education.
I do not suggest that we must entirely erase the debt through a constitutional amendment or draconian spending cuts. Instead, we should use it like a home equity line of credit: dip into it as needed, but pay down the balance so as to keep interest costs under control.
Let me be clear: this is not a call to turn over important government programs like Social Security and Medicare to private enterprise. Instead, we must examine our priorities and address the problem comprehensively, as the Simpson-Bowles commission attempted to do a few years back.
I will work toward the following solutions:
- Renew a bipartisan effort to comprehensively address the debt.
- Remove the income cap on Social Security tax.
- Address both revenue and expense sides of the ledger.
- End the practice of using accounting gimmicks instead of dollars to “pay” for new spending.
Yes, the issue is hard. Yes, others have tried. We need to try again, and keep trying until it is fixed.