by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Editors at the Washington Examiner praise U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s latest proposal for addressing the ongoing issue of the federal debt limit.
Since he was sworn in a little over two years ago, President Joe Biden has signed legislation and executive orders that have added $5 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. Over those same two years, the interest the federal government must pay on its debt has doubled from $345 billion a year to nearly $700 billion. The Congressional Budget Office estimates those interest costs will double again within a decade. At that point, 20% of federal taxes will be spent paying interest costs alone.
The federal government’s spending habits are in desperate need of a new direction, and unfortunately, the exhaustion of the Treasury Department’s legal authority to borrow money is one of the only times lawmakers take deficit reduction seriously.
Ideally, House Republicans would have gone through the process of producing an actual budget for the federal government for the next 10 years as they are required to do by law. But that road wasn’t taken. Instead, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has released a 320-page bill, the Limit, Save, Grow Act, that would reduce spending by about $4 trillion over the next decade.
The legislation isn’t perfect. But it is a positive step in the right direction, and every House Republican should vote for it. Critically, if House Republicans fail to pass this spending reduction plan, they will have no leverage over Democrats in the debt limit debate, and the stage will be set for the federal government’s disastrous spending trajectory to continue unchanged. Whoever votes with Democrats against these spending cuts is essentially voting for a clean debt limit hike.
Drilling down into the specifics, the legislation is full of commonsense conservative policy.