Citizens United signs on to coalition letter: NO DEBT LIMIT INCREASE WITHOUT FISCAL REFORMS
September 6, 2017
Congress faces numerous deadlines when they return to session in September. In addition to funding the government, providing relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey, and reauthorizing several major programs, they face a debt limit expiration.
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Conservatives oppose any debt ceiling increase unless it includes major fiscal reforms that immediately put the country on a path to balance.
That these reforms are necessary is self-evident. The debt now stands at 77 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the highest level since shortly after World War II. Last year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the U.S. debt would balloon to 150 percent of economic output by 2047 unless tax and spending laws are changed. As Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have concluded, a debt to GDP ratio of above 90 percent all but grinds economic growth to a halt.
The timing of this debt limit increase is particularly compelling given the previous progress conservatives have made on fiscal issues under a Democratic administration and Democratic Senate. The Budget Control Act – the most significant progress conservatives have made in decades – was passed as part of a debt limit negotiation with a Democrat president and a Democrat majority in the Senate.
With Republicans in unified control of the government this time around, settling for minor reforms – or, worse, for a debt ceiling increase with no reforms – would be a squandered opportunity.
Now is the time for Congress to cut the credit card. The debt ceiling should not be raised absent significant fiscal reforms that put the country on a path to balance. Any less would be a wasted opportunity to reform a fiscal system that is hurtling toward disaster.
Read the full letter: