Rep. Golden Releases Fiscal Framework to Stabilize Debt

Today, Representative Jared Golden (D-ME) published a piece calling for lawmakers to raise the debt limit and then negotiate a responsible budget deal. He laid out a framework to set discretionary levels and stabilize the national debt at 100 percent of GDP over the next two years, suggesting $500 billion of savings over two years. Half of these savings would come from spending reductions, including caps on discretionary spending; rescinding, ending, and recovering COVID relief; and stopping the President’s broad-based student debt cancellation. The other half would come from new revenue, including restoring the top individual rate of 39.6 percent, setting the top corporate rate at 25 percent, and closing various tax loopholes. We estimate the two-year plan would reduce deficits by more than $3 trillion over ten years.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

Congressman Golden has it absolutely right: it is reckless to hold the debt ceiling hostage, and it is also reckless to ignore the threats of our growing debt. Lawmakers must engage and take steps to address both. Good for Congressman Golden for contributing to a much-needed discussion by releasing this framework today.

With inflation surging and debt approaching a record share of the economy, this is the type of framework we need. Congressman Golden should be commended for recognizing the problem, focusing on policy rather than politics, and producing thoughtful ideas to begin to tackle our crippling national debt.

His fiscal goal is reasonable and realistic, and he treats the issue with the honesty and nuance it deserves. If only more politicians were willing to do the same. A fiscal framework like this would help the Federal Reserve fight inflation in the near term and would make substantial progress toward stabilizing our out-of-control debt over time.

The deadline for Congress to complete a budget is tomorrow, and yet we haven’t seen a budget from either the House or Senate Budget Committees. That’s one reason it is refreshing to see Congressman Golden leading by example.

We also commend others in Congress who have recently put forward their proposals for savings. More lawmakers should share their ideas, and then Congress should debate them.

No one should criticize these ideas without putting forward their own solutions. It’s time for politicians to stop posturing and start leading. It’s time to fix the debt.


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