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OPINION

Instead of Playing the Blame Game, Democrats Must Accept Our Financial Reality

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Carolyn Kaster

The latest statistics from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on our national debt are startling. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government will accumulate $19 trillion in debt over the next decade. These numbers are so astronomical that it can be difficult to grasp just how big that is, but here’s a number that may shock you: right now, our nation faces $31.5 trillion in debt. So in ten years, the United States won’t double its debt, but something close to it. 

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No question, if our national debt and the impending debt ceiling are any indications, our country clearly needs to get our spending in check. It’s clear that Democrats who control two-thirds of our government have difficult decisions to make. And fiscally responsible lawmakers can’t reach a solution of any kind if President Biden and congressional Democrats continue to write checks they can’t cash. 

The Democrat-led 117th Congress spent an unbelievable amount in just two years, increasing overall spending by $10 trillion on programs like the American Rescue Plan and President Biden’s various executive actions. It appears that there’s no end in sight. 

Right now, there’s a fierce debate going on in Congress about defense spending, some of which, admittedly, is among Republicans. But as our nation looks to bolster its defenses against threats from Russia and China, it will no doubt incur more costs for our nation’s defense, especially as cutting costs for defense tends to prove politically unpopular. 

It’s not a secret that Democrats have a wide range of projects they would love to spend taxpayer dollars to fund. The Green New Deal is one of the more famous ones. We’ve also returned to the age of earmarks, where lawmakers ensure their pet projects make it into the federal spending budget so they can take credit back home. 

Defense spending, pet projects, and earmarks make a large chunk of change and a significant portion of the budget that Congress has to allocate every year, but Congress also has to cover the bill for interest on our massive and quickly growing debt, as well as mandatory spending programs.  

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There’s a lot that Congress needs to do to tackle the ever-growing problem of our national debt, but one area they need to work to preserve is Social Security and Medicare. Recently, Democrats have been on the attack, accusing the Republican Party of seeking to cut Social Security and Medicare, but that’s not true. In fact, neither party, however, wants to cut funding for these programs, and both remain highly popular with voters. 

Not only is Social Security one of the most popular programs that our government provides to Americans, but it also delivers critical benefits to over 67 million retirees. These folks have worked hard for decades, and they’ve paid into Social Security for years in order to retire comfortably. These programs are critical to the health and well-being of our nation’s citizens, providing millions of older Americans with benefits that they are counting on, and simply put, our elected officials shouldn’t be putting programs like Social Security, that provide millions of Americans with the money they need to buys basics like gas, groceries, and rent, on the chopping block. 

The reality is Democrats that have controlled Washington for two years and chose to dramatically increase government spending programs, and not to find ways to bring our nation’s spending under control. They must find ways to work with Republicans to set our nation on a fiscally responsible path, and it’s essential they also avoid raiding programs like Social Security and Medicare which are so crucial to the health and well-being of an entire generation of Americans. 

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The more Democrats spend on pet projects and grandiose legislation, the less the country will have to spend on key programs for future generations of Americans. Democrats still control both the Senate and the White House, so the onus is on them to sit down with Republicans with open minds and a willingness to recognize that they need to let some of their wilder spending ideas go. We are perfectly capable of reaching some sort of reasonable compromise to cut spending where necessary in order to save Medicare and Social Security. 

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