It was January 1995, and the national debt crisis was already mounting.
The Senate was debating the adoption of a Republican-sponsored amendment to the Constitution which would limit the federal government to spend no more than it takes in.
Then-Senator Joe Biden fought alongside Senate Republicans to encourage support for this constitutional change by emphasizing the importance of deficit reduction:
“I’m sure someone has looked out, over the next 15 years, and concluded that if we stay on the same track…we will be providing for an increasingly larger share of every tax dollar just to go to reduce interest on the debt and, to me, that’s the driving force behind this amendment.”
Not only did then-Senator Biden advocate for a balanced budget amendment, but he also argued in favor of “freezing federal spending… [for] every single solitary thing in the government.” And he introduced a bill to do so FOUR times.
Since then, our national debt has ballooned from around $5 trillion to an all-time high of $31.5 trillion and growing by the second. So, if reining in our federal debt nearly 30 years and $26 trillion dollars ago was that important, what has changed, Mr. President?
President Biden is fond of saying, “show me your budget, and I’ll show you your values.” Maybe today, when she appears before our committee, the Office of Management & Budget Director, Shalanda Young, can explain the transformation that has occurred in the President’s views on deficits and the debt.
Mr. Biden’s recent budget proposal doubles down on the reckless spending, radical policies, and failed economic agenda of his first two years in office. After presiding over trillions in deficit spending his first two years in office, made worse by his $1 trillion in unilateral executive actions, the President’s budget proposes the highest sustained levels of spending, taxes, deficits, and debt in American history.
Federal spending would grow by $15.6 trillion, or 21 percent, compared to the amount projected by the Congressional Budget Office at the beginning of his presidency. Interest on the debt would almost quadruple from the day he took office, rising to more than $1.3 trillion annually. Every single year, he proposes deficits between $1.5 and $2 trillion, despite raising almost $5 trillion in new taxes – reaching a level not seen since the invasion of Normandy. And the national debt would rise to $51 trillion, 28% larger than the economy (larger than the economies of Great Britain and Japan combined) and the highest level in our nation’s 246-year history.
His “progressive” policies and their associated spending have –resulted in record inflation, soaring interest rates, higher debt, economic decline, and a greater prospect of a sovereign debt crisis. And, unfortunately, past is prologue when it comes to his FY 2024 budget.
The American people are drowning in a sea of inflation as a consequence of Democrats’ wasteful Washington spending, tax hikes, regulatory assault on energy production, and removing work requirements from welfare programs. Since President Biden took office, groceries have gotten 19.9% more expensive. Gasoline prices are up more than 40%. Energy prices have skyrocketed by 37.4%. Home prices have risen by 14.5%. While prices continue to soar, paychecks are shrinking by nearly nine percent. That is the steepest pay cut in more than 25 years. The last time paychecks were this low, Jeff Bezos had just founded Amazon, Friends was newly on network television, and the very first PlayStation was launched.
So what do we do? More taxing and spending?
That’s what President Biden’s latest budget proposes. It continues to swipe our nation’s credit card to finance woke and wasteful policies while ignoring the very real problems that dominate the daily lives of Americans.
After scouring the budget, it’s hard to come to any conclusion other than the Biden Administration is either disconnected from reality or they simply don’t care. Why else would they spend three times as much on electric vehicles as they do combatting the fentanyl crisis; or prioritize $7 billion at the Department of Agriculture for “climate-related funding” while doing nothing the help famers and ranchers provide Americans with food security; or increase the coroporate tax rate higher than Communist China, and provide a pay increase for federal employees that is higher than the average private sector employee, while shoveling more tax and regulatory burden on our job creators? I hope Director Young has answers to these questions because hardworking Americans will be listening carefully.
President Biden - then-Senator Biden – seemed to understand our perilous path 28 years ago. Regrettably, his recent budget is just one example of how far President Biden has strayed from common sense and fiscal responsibility. Our deficit, spending, and debt are completely unsustainable, and a debt-related crisis would be catastrophic and cause irreparable harm to our economy, security, and America’s leadership in the world.
Where is Senator Biden when you need him?
- Representative Jodey Arrington (TX-19) serves as Chair of House Budget Committee
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