Op-Ed: Fiscally Irresponsible Policies Are Plunging The U.S. Further Into Debt

Op-Ed

By:  Bob Goodlatte
Date: Oct. 9, 2009
Location: Washington, DC

It is no secret that the American people are facing a very tough economic climate. Families and small businesses are cutting back on expenses. As economic uncertainty continues, many across our nation are looking to the government for leadership during this difficult time. In these challenging economic times it is even more important for government to control spending. The federal government must work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to it. With families and small businesses all across our nation making tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford Congress should not be allowed to ignore these tough decisions when creating spending policies for the federal government.

Unfortunately, instead of supplying real solutions, the Democrat-controlled Congress has responded to the call with unprecedented spending of taxpayers' dollars. The stimulus package that passed in February increased the debt by $1 trillion. In addition, the Majority in Congress passed a $400 billion omnibus spending bill that only funds the government for seven months, while Republicans called for a spending freeze in order to curb spending. Earlier this year the House passed a $3.6 trillion budget resolution which will also dramatically increase the amount of debt in America. Now Congress is debating health care reform proposals which are estimated to cost anywhere from $1 to $1.8 trillion. Our children and grandchildren will be forced to bear an unprecedented burden as a result of these reckless policies.

It is these policies that have caused our national debt to explode. Currently, the United States' national debt stands at over $11 trillion which breaks down to nearly $39,000 for every citizen of this country and is increasing by more than $2 trillion this year alone. Our national debt is larger than the total economies of China, the United Kingdom and Australia combined. As Congress continues to pass fiscally irresponsible legislation our national debt will continue to grow by hundreds of billions of dollars every year. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget, our national debt will grow an additional $9 trillion over the next decade to more than $20 trillion.

You might ask who is lending us all this money? It is countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, China and Russia who are fast becoming the creditor nations while the U.S. and other western countries are slipping further and further into debt. In fact, the Treasury Department estimates that our debt to China is approximately $776.4 billion, having grown more than $240 billion in the last year. This debt is enough to cripple America's future.

The American people know that we can't borrow and spend our way back to prosperity. The path to our economic recovery starts with fiscal responsibility in Washington. The federal government must follow the example set by our nation's families -- tighten the budget and eliminate wasteful spending. The future of America depends on it.