Our debt crisis threatens our economic security

The national debt clock is seen in midtown Manhattan, Thursday, May 25, 2023. Both President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are speaking hopefully of the likelihood of an agreement to raise the government's debt limit and avert an economically chaotic federal default. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Our nation is more than $31.4 trillion in debt. It is a figure so daunting that it seems almost insurmountable to resolve. To put this number into perspective, every American taxpayer — already facing record-high inflation, skyrocketing interest rates, and economic instability — is on the hook for nearly $95,000 in federal debt.

Our current fiscal trajectory is unsustainable and financially irresponsible. We need to implement common sense spending reforms and promote policies that encourage economic growth and reduce our crippling national debt. As Iowa’s voice in Congress, I pledge to be part of the solution.

The enormity of our debt crisis cannot be overstated. In 2022, our Gross Domestic Product — the annual monetary value of all goods produced and all services provided in our economy — eclipsed $26.13 trillion. If we committed every dollar of last year’s GDP to paying down our debt, we would still face a roughly $5.3 trillion shortfall. That is mind-boggling.

Even more concerning, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that our net interest payments to service our debt will cost $10.5 trillion over the next decade. Instead of allocating these dollars to priorities critical to our economic vitality, national security, and energy independence, we are forced to funnel scarce resources to our adversaries, like China, who benefit from rising interest rates at the expense of American taxpayers.

Regrettably, the Biden Administration has only made matters worse. Over the last two years, between costly executive orders and reckless spending, President Biden added roughly $6 trillion to our federal credit card with no concern for the economic ramifications of his tax-and-spend policies.

As a strong, fiscal conservative, I fiercely opposed every last penny of his wasteful spending agenda, knowing full well that this unprecedented level of spending would fuel inflation, crush family budgets, increase costs for our main street businesses, and — of course — add to our ever-expanding national debt.

Alongside the entire House Republican Conference, I also proudly voted for the Limit, Save, Grow Act to slash $4.8 trillion in wasteful spending from the federal budget over the next decade and limit future federal expenditures to just 1% growth year-over-year. This legislation represents a commonsense approach to restore fiscal responsibility, grow our economy, and protect the solvency of Medicare and Social Security for our seniors.

Additionally, our solution to the debt crisis does not raise taxes on our families and small businesses because tax hikes will not rescue our country from financial catastrophe. In fact, according to a study administered by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a mere 1% tax increase on our families, farmers, and businesses would result in a decrease in our real GDP by 3%.

Fiscal contractions will not generate the revenue we need to power the American economy. The most effective way to reduce our national debt is to cut the pork out of Washington and cure Congress’s addiction to reckless spending.

We won’t solve our nation’s debt crisis overnight. Long-term economic prosperity will require sustained commitments by lawmakers to rein in out-of-control spending and protect taxpayer dollars for services that our communities depend on like police, firefighters, and hospitals.

My commitment to Iowa taxpayers and families remains the same since I came to Congress: I will continue to oppose wasteful spending that threatens our economy, raises taxes on our families, and bankrupts our children and grandchildren. We all deserve better than the failed economic policies that President Biden and Democrats in Congress have consistently delivered.

We are government together, and your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Please contact my office at Feenstra.House.Gov or by phone at 202-225-4426 if I can ever be of assistance. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main street businesses, and rural communities in Congress.


Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, serves Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.


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