How the United States’ High Debt Will Hurt Americans

National Debt Graphic
National Debt Graphic
  • Interest payments on the debt are growing out of control. Interest payments alone on the national debt will soon exceed both defense and non-defense discretionary spending. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that interest costs will total $4.8 trillion over the next 10 years, constituting the third largest category in the federal budget by 2028. Yet politicians continue spending. At this rate interest on the debt will be the 3rd greatest expense after social security, and medicaid and medicare.


  • The primary driver of the national debt, mandatory spending, is crowding out other programs. By 2022, nearly every dime of revenue the federal government takes in will be committed to mandatory programs that are driving the debt. This means programs that Americans count on, like transportation and national defense, will see a smaller piece of the pie.


  • Governments which spend less generally grow their economies fast Countries around the world which have cut spending have seen higher growth, while countries such as Spain and Greece, which have grown government to unsustainable levels, continue to struggle.


  • Reckless levels of debt will harm future generations. Failure to address the debt now will mean cutting government programs or dramatically raising taxes. Can Americans really afford another tax hike or drastic cuts to essential services?
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  • Each individual’s share of the debt far exceeds the median salary. The national debt per capita is over $56,000 more than the median salary in the US. Government has grown far too large in relation to the size of our economy and the burden that hardworking Americans are able to shoulder.


From the owners of small-town mom-and-pop stores drowning in red tape to families struggling to plan for the future, we often hear this question from people across the country. They are frustrated by a government that gets bigger and more bloated with nearly each passing year. And they should be. One of the most egregious causes of governments consistent growth is the what is referred to as “unauthorized spending.”


Congressional rules are supposed to preclude the appropriation of funds for anything that isn’t created by an “authorization bill,” which gives agencies, programs and projects a legal basis for their existence. These authorizations are usually for a set time period, after which these entities must be authorized again. Only after passing these bills is Congress supposed to allocate taxpayer money to fund them.


This process is specifically designed so lawmakers weed out duplication across departments and agencies, cut obsolete programs and reform those that are functioning improperly. Too often, however, lawmakers simply ignore that critical first step, breaking the rules that are supposed to govern their actions. Every year, Congress fails to authorize huge swaths of the federal government while continuing to throw money at them. They are simply falling down on the job. This is a gross mismanagement of our funds.

To find more on this by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips go to  The Washington Post.

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