Making the national debt a security threat
We've written before about the growing tide of red ink that threatens to engulf the federal government and, unless something changes, the U.S. economy as well. As we have long noted, the root of the debt and deficit problem can be found in entitlements and a bipartisan unwillingness to curb (even modestly) other spending.
That so many self-described fiscal conservatives had given in to the spending binge was deeply disturbing. But now, a few hardy congressional souls hope to change that:
Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona Republican, is leading the resolution that calls on the House to commit to addressing a growing “fiscal crisis” in the United States after the national debt recently surpassed $22 trillion for the first time in U.S. history.
A draft copy of the resolution points out that the last balanced federal budget was signed into law in 1997, and includes past statements from defense officials about the threats the debt poses to national security.
It calls for the House to recognize that the national debt is a threat to national security, to realize that deficits are “unsustainable, irresponsible, and dangerous,” to commit to “restoring regular order” in the appropriations process and to commit to addressing the “fiscal crisis” the country is facing.
“When we start looking at that, Congress has done nothing,” Mr. Biggs told The Washington Times this month. “We have higher tax revenue than ever and you have a higher deficit than ever. It’s not a revenue problem, it’s a spending problem, and until we get our spending under control it won’t matter.”
The measure has attracted about three dozen cosponsors in the House thus far. Mr. Biggs and other House conservatives also introduced a similar resolution last June, when the national debt was merely approaching $22 trillion.
Sen. David Perdue, Georgia Republican, is taking the lead on the Senate version of the resolution, which is expected to be rolled out on Tuesday as well.
The recent news that the debt topped $22 trillion should have sounded “alarm bells” throughout Washington, “but bureaucrats and career politicians didn’t even blink an eye,” Mr. Perdue said.
We'll see whether the idea gets any traction within the House and Senate. It should -- because unbridled debt is, indeed, a threat to our nation's long-term economic health and security.