Debt Ceiling Agreement
The U.S. has already reached the debt ceiling, but is currently undertaking “extraordinary measures” to continue to meet its financial obligations.
While there are many who will argue whether or not we should raise the debt ceiling, delaying this debate gives Washington an opportunity to have a frank discussion about our budget and what our priorities should be over the next year.
o At its core, this isn’t a debt ceiling issue – it’s a spending issue.
o Our spending problem won’t solve itself. We need a plan now that will put our spending back on a sustainable path.
o If we make the necessary spending cuts now, we won’t be forced to consistently have this debate.
o Washington has a renewed opportunity to discuss serious spending cuts in an environment that is not bogged down with the politics of the debt ceiling.
o This has to happen now. Congress must begin to work together and stop playing politics with our bottom line.
A Fresh Start:
The president just started his second term. The House is poised to suspend the debt ceiling debate. The sequester is set to take effect in two months. The stage is set for a serious discussion on the primary drivers of our debt.
o We spend a lot of money on defense and entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security – millions of Americans rely on these programs.
o But we need to make sure every dollar we spend is being used as efficiently and effectively as possible so that we strengthen these programs for those who need them now and preserve them for future generations.
o The only thing that will reduce the debt and put our economy back on a firm foundation is reforming the programs on which wespend the most money.
The bill also includes a stipulation that members of Congress would have their pay withheld until each chamber passes a budget.
o It’s been four years since the Congress has met its most fundamental responsibility: passing a budget.
o This is simply unacceptable. Washington must pass and operate within a budget that cuts spending and puts our economy back on the road to recovery.
This is what Americans want. According to Public Notice’s new poll:
o 74% say the amount of federal government spending is too high.
o 74% also disagree with President Obama’s recent statement that we do not have a spending problem.
o 81% oppose the lack of spending cuts in the recent fiscal cliff deal.
o 61% say the national debt has a negative impact on them personally.
The bottom line
Last July, when discussing the debt ceiling, President Obama said: "There are a lot of crises in the world that we can’t always predict or avoid – hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks. This isn’t one of those crises. The power to solve this is in our hands."
o We couldn’t agree more. We must act now to control the irresponsible spending that has piled trillions of dollars in debt on our economy.
o This one of the most avoidable crises our nation has ever faced. By keeping their campaign promises of fiscal responsibility and simply not spending more than we take in, lawmakers can bring our economy back from the brink.
What Washington needs is honest leadership – not more empty rhetoric. The American people want and deserve a responsible government that ends the politics-as-usual approach of budget gimmicks, accounting tricks, and empty promises.
Public Notice is an independent non-profit dedicated to providing facts and insight on the economy and how government policy affects Americans’ financial well-being.
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