With the deadline for the “Super Committee” to find $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions rapidly approaching, our nation is racking up $2.2 billion in new debt daily.
And if the Super Committee doesn’t act, or if Congress doesn’t enact its proposals, our military’s fate may be at stake.
One bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives has urged the committee to “go big” and enact $4 trillion in deficit reduction—reductions to be achieved in part by massive tax hikes. Meanwhile, 33 Senators last week urged the Super Committee to recognize the reality that America has a spending problem, not a tax problem, and to cut down on the size of government.
But just how large is the challenge?
Federal spending reaching an all time high in 2011. When adjusted for inflation, that figure was more than three times the level of spending during World War II. This is a crisis that Congress must address.
The Heritage Foundation has developed three pillars of reform the Super Committee should consider when making the cuts. These pillars include:
- Fully funding national defense. After a decade of war and an increased federal disaster relief role, our military faces a readiness crisis. Additional cuts to military funding would only exacerbate this problem.
- Transforming entitlement programs. Entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security are the biggest drivers of deficits for future generations. The fundamental structure of these programs must be changed to ensure they remain viable.
- Not raising taxes. With the economy still clawing its way out of a deep recession, raising taxes would only make our economic challenges even worse. Even the talk of tax hikes chills economic activity.
To read more about these three pillars, click here.
The task at hand is not easy. But getting ourselves out of this mess will require the super committee to set priorities and make bold decisions to solve Washington’s spending problem. We must be able to protect our nation and return to a strong economy without raising taxes.