We Need to Break Our Addiction to Debt

For Immediate Release

Congress is currently debating a deal to increase spending caps and fund the government through the remainder of the current fiscal year before a funding stopgap expires on January 19. In addition, Congress is discussing measures to fund disaster relief, revive expired ‘tax extenders’, delay or temporarily repeal various taxes from the Affordable Care Act, and enact several other policies with fiscal implications. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

With massive debt-financed tax cuts now weighing on the economy and budget, a return to responsible budgeting has never been more critical. Trillion-dollar deficits could return as soon as next fiscal year, and at our current pace debt could exceed the size of the entire economy within a decade.

Yet Congress is currently debating whether to exacerbate the debt-financed tax cuts by increasing discretionary budget caps by upwards of $100 billion per year and adding tens of billions more per year to the deficit through further tax cuts and spending increases.

It is time for lawmakers to break their addiction to debt and end the pattern of adding new priorities to the national credit card. Unpaid-for tax cuts should not be used as an excuse for unpaid-for spending; rather, all new priorities should be paid for, and the need for more revenues as part of a solution is now greater than before. If lawmakers want to spend more on defense or non-defense, provide further disaster relief, or offer more tax cuts, they need to offset the costs with new taxes or spending cuts. And they need to raise more revenue and address unsustainable entitlement programs to deal with our large and growing fiscal imbalances.

Irresponsible tax policy should not be paired with irresponsible spending policy. Rather than opening the fiscal floodgates, lawmakers must return to a more responsible approach to budgeting.


For more information contact Patrick Newton, press secretary, at newton@crfb.org.