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To Solve Inflation, Heed the Founding Fathers’ Advice

House Republicans must rise to the occasion, truly put America and Americans first, and disregard the will of Washington, D.C.’s uniparty.

US Capital - Washington DC
(Photo by James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that, at our current rate of spending, annual interest payments on the debt are expected to exceed the cost of our nation’s entire defense budget in 2024. The CBO also predicts that the annual deficit will reach $2.6 trillion by 2034, and the national debt will exceed $50 trillion. This comes six months after one of the major credit rating agencies, Fitch Ratings, downgraded our nation’s debt for only the second time in history.

Here are some more frightening facts about America’s financial health: 

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  • The federal government has a spending rate of over $186,263 per second.
  • The current debt crisis means that each citizen now owes the federal government a check for over $101,000. Each taxpayer owes the government over $264,000.
  • Thanks to the increase in mandatory spending, the Social Security Trust Fund is now expected to become insolvent by 2033. Further, the Medicare Part A Trust Fund is expected to become insolvent by 2031, unless Congress gets its act together and steps up to the plate.
  • The U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is one of the highest of all developed countries, falling short of only Japan (254 percent), Greece (193 percent), and Italy (148 percent). The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School’s Budget Model predicts that the debt-to-GDP ratio will be over 225 percent by 2050. 
  • The Peter G. Peterson Foundation predicts that if spending continues its current pace, by 2052, 40 percent of federal spending will be on interest payments alone.

Our nation has been headed down a path to fiscal ruin because of repeated congressional decisions to live beyond our means. The impact of inflation has disrupted nearly every aspect of American life, from home ownership to the cost of groceries. The devaluation of our currency has resulted in the average family of four spending an additional $1,200 per month to buy the exact same goods and services they were buying in January 2021. Inflation continues because the Washington establishment is incapable of saying “no” to heightened spending. 

While Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden’s nonstop money-printing has had predictable inflationary effects, House Republicans have missed a huge opportunity to push discretionary spending back down to pre-pandemic levels, which would save us $380 billion annually

Failing to cut discretionary spending has allowed the majority of Democrats’ harmful priorities to remain in place in the federal government, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s radical “climate change” initiatives that have crippled American energy, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives overreach that has harassed law-abiding gun owners, and the Department of Justice that has unlawfully targeted Catholics and political opponents. House Republicans can stop Democrats’ destructive agenda in the coming year if we simply have the will to defund it. 

In his 1796 Farewell Address, George Washington highlighted the importance of paying off our Revolutionary War debt, and his words should be a lesson for us today. He called on Congress to make debt retirement a priority in peacetime, instead of “ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burdens which we ourselves ought to bear.”

The last time our debt-to-GDP ratio was at 100 percent or more was during the Second World War. Unlike the current generation, the Greatest Generation heeded Washington’s advice and paid off the costs of the war instead of leaving it for their children. Their spirit of sacrifice for the next generation is badly needed today.

Cutting spending significantly will be hard, but its difficulty will pale in comparison to the sovereign debt crisis that looms ahead if we don’t alter course. I urge my Republican colleagues to rise to the occasion and truly put America’s future ahead of our own political futures. Now is the time to cut spending and give our children liberty. Thomas Jefferson once warned of such a time, saying “the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

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