Maya MacGuineas: Finally, a Serious Idea to Address the National Debt

Maya MacGuineas is president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. She recently wrote an opinion piece for Barrons, an excerpt of which is below.

While Congress is locked in a cage match over whether to fund the federal government or shut it down, a welcome dose of sanity entered the otherwise dangerous and juvenile standoff: the idea of creating a bipartisan, bicameral fiscal commission to try to deal with our national debt.

First, on the shutdown.

Congress is fighting over the overall level of funding. That makes little sense given that the level was already set during the debt ceiling debate as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The caps on overall discretionary spending were set at $1.59 trillion for next fiscal year, or $886 billion for defense and $704 billion for nondefense. Yet lawmakers from both parties in the Senate have moved forward with appropriations that exceed the caps, and a group of Republicans in the House have been insisting on spending below them. While it is true that the FRA didn’t save nearly as much as we need to fully address our fiscal challenges, it was a solid first start. Plus, a deal is a deal.

Read the entire piece here.

Published works by members or staff of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget do not necessarily reflect the views of all members or staff of the Committee.