01.19.2024 0

U.S. Rep. Spartz’ Debt Commission Act to address debt death spiral is long overdue

By Rick Manning

We need a debt commission like the one U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) is offering in the Debt Commission Act of 2024.

America is in a debt death spiral, with OMB projecting the national debt to rise to $50 trillion by 2033, and it is unclear whether Congress will ever have the political will to do something about it. One thing is clear, continued reliance on debt to subsidize the social safety net ensures that that net will collapse, hurting those who are most dependent on it including seniors.

The Social Security and Medicare trust funds are reporting they are rapidly approaching insolvency, and today, mandatory spending including interest payments account for 73 percent of all federal spending, and at $4.6 trillion, accounts for 100 percent of all revenue taken by the federal government from all sources.

This means if Congress eliminated all defense spending, all foreign aid, and every program that Congress votes on, firing every employee, the federal government would still run a deficit.

And it gets worse. In fact, the percent of mandatory spending plus interest is projected to rise to 78 percent of all spending by 2033, accounting for 105 percent of all revenue.

Another example of the debt spiral is the dramatic increase in Medicaid recipients resulting from the shift in eligibility for benefits from 200 to 300 percent of the poverty level in 43 states from Obamacare, resulting in approximately $100 billion of additional spending according to the Congressional Budget Office.

There are no easy answers to the debt abyss we are trapped in. Every dollar spent has a constituency. Every dollar taxed has a constituency.

While Congress should be able to have an honest discussion on alternatives, politics prevents it, and with intergovernmental holdings of debt set to begin declining in 2028 as entitlements reach the tipping point, U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz’ Debt Commission Act of 2024 will at least jump start a robust policy discussion that is long overdue.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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