Reducing the Federal Debt

Dr. Kelli Ward understands that the only way to stop Congress from putting our country deeper into debt every year is to get spending under control while promoting economic growth. 

The federal budget deficit is the difference between two important numbers: the amount the federal government brings in through taxes, fees and other sources, and the amount it spends. 

For too many in the nation’s capital, caring about an issue is measured by how much the government spends on it. We have an unsustainable federal budget deficit today because politicians spend every single penny they can extract from taxpayers, then proceed to borrow more.

As difficult as it is for some politicians to cut spending, reforming government programs is even more difficult. Cutting spending on a program is just a matter of adopting a line item in a budget, but redesigning a program requires much more time and attention. We need leaders in Congress who are not afraid to take on the challenge of fundamentally transforming how our government operates.

The amount Congress adds to the nation's debt every year is called the federal budget deficit – or the amount by which spending exceeds revenue. Even with a GOP-led Congress, the 2017 budget deficit increased by $80 billion to $666 billion.

Here’s why this shouldn’t be acceptable: Federal borrowing is intergenerational; it’s the next generation – not the generation benefitting from the spending – that will have to pay off the government bonds issued to fund today’s lack of spending discipline. Future generations will be locked into a combination of slowed economic growth and higher taxes because of the inaction of today’s leaders to reduce bring government down to a sustainable size.

Maximizing economic growth is the best way to increase the revenue being sent to the federal government to fund constitutionally appropriate spending. We have seen the federal government enjoy enormous budget windfalls during times of strong economic growth, while experiencing an exploding budget deficit during times of slow or negative growth.

Additionally, we must work toward meaningful reforms that shrink the overall size and scope of government. Programs that are not inherently federal in nature should be transferred to the states, localities or the private sector. Americans shouldn’t be afraid to ask if the federal government is the proper entity to handle an issue, or if it’s better handled at the state and local level.

Every American should be able to retire in dignity. That is why we need to preserve our Medicare and Social Security systems for current and future retirees. Our elected leaders must keep the promises they’ve made to these individuals, but we must also consider implementing reforms and improvements to these programs for retiring Americans, including increasing returns on their retirement savings through expanded 401k programs, as well as, adding more choices, options and alternatives within Medicare. 

As Arizona’s voice in the U.S. Senate, Dr. Ward will work diligently to promote legislation that reduces our country’s debt and preserves a future for current and future American generations.

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