The national debt represents a threat to our economic wellbeing and, as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen has said, is the single greatest threat to our national security.
As Americans, we know we are capable of making the tough decisions to live within our means and maintain fiscal security. In fact, in the 1990s we had several years of budget surpluses. While it will require shared sacrifice, this should be our goal again.
The Path Forward--a Balanced Solution:
We didn't get into this situation overnight and we won't get out of it overnight either. Over the long term, it will require hard decisions and a shared, balanced approach. Those who have already sacrificed the most through job loss or reduced pension and health care benefits--the middle class and those working hard to get into it--should not bear the entire burden of deficit reduction.
I support letting expire the Bush tax cuts for or the wealthiest of Americans making over $250,000 a year--those who have benefited the most out of the economy in the last decade.
The path forward is challenging but it is also clear. We have to make smart choices with our investments in education, rebuilding our nation's infrastructure, getting serious about developing clean energy alternatives, and helping our veterans get the jobs and support they deserve. Then, we must strike an American balance between fairness in taxation and getting our fiscal house in order.