Wilson Editorial: Unsustainable Debt Under President Obama

Feb 23, 2015

One of the greatest threats facing the prosperity of middle class Americans and future generations is the rising national debt. As our nation borrows and spends beyond its means and the President pushes an agenda that does nothing to address this growing problem, we must act now to ensure we do not leave a legacy of debt for our children and grandchildren and put Social Security in jeopardy.

In July 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama called it “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” to borrow more money from China and drive up our national debt. In February 2009, President Obama warned congressional leaders that the rate of government spending was unsustainable with dire economic consequences, and pledged to cut the nation’s deficit in his first term. Clearly, the President’s promises did not translate into actions.

Since President Obama took office, our debt has grown an estimated seventy percent to $18.1 trillion. Under his borrow-and-spend policies, our economy is defined by destroyed jobs and stagnant wages, and 8.5 million Americans are still out of work. Now, the President has offered his $4 trillion budget proposal that never balances and continues his failed policies of the past – reckless government spending, borrowing, and tax increases that destroy jobs. His budget plan includes $2.1 trillion in tax hikes, and massive spending increases without targeted cuts. It also adds another $8.5 trillion to our debt and triples interest costs.

Our nation cannot continue to follow this unsustainable path. Instead of raising taxes and increasing spending, we must implement real solutions to reduce our debt by balancing the budget and growing our economy with more jobs by small businesses. I have consistently supported a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution in an effort to fight the culture of overspending in Washington and restore fiscal sanity to the federal government. The only way to avoid financial ruin is with a Constitutional Amendment that requires both Congress and the President to be held accountable to taxpayers.

To grow our economy, House Republicans have passed bipartisan bills to utilize our nation’s abundant energy resources and scale back excessive regulations to create jobs. The President must decide on a bill the House and Senate passed this month to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. This key infrastructure project, from Canada to the United States, would strengthen our energy security and create hundreds of permanent jobs in South Carolina, where local companies like Michelin Tire Corporation and MTU America produce materials needed for the project’s completion. Sadly, the President has threatened to veto this job-creating project, as it has become standard for the President to either ignore or threaten to veto many of our proposals.

The current rate of government spending is irresponsible, putting America’s youth at risk with skyrocketing interest payments. It is my hope that the President and Congress can work together to balance our nation’s budget. I remain committed to promoting policies that cut wasteful spending, spur economic growth, create American jobs, maintain critical defense funding, and pay down our debt.