Sen. Tuberville addresses national debt

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Senator Tommy Tuberville (Official U.S. Senate photo by Rebecca Hammel)

Sen. Tommy Tuberville Alabama Monthly Column

June 2023

Right now, our national debt is $31 trillion. That’s larger than our entire economy. In fact, the ratio of our debt to our economy has never been higher.

We spend more on interest on this debt than we spend on our veterans. And as debt and interest rates both go up, soon we’ll spend more on interest than we spend on our military or even education. Where are our priorities as a country?

We should never have gotten into this situation in the first place, but decades of irresponsible leaders in Washington from both parties put us in this position by spending too much. Joe Biden alone has added some $6 trillion to our deficits—and it only cost us $4 trillion to win World War II. 

What did we get in exchange for all this debt? A government that can’t even do its job. The federal government can’t keep the border closed or our streets safe. The big-spending Biden administration surrendered in Afghanistan and shut down our energy production. We’re going broke and not getting a lot in return.

Democrats say our taxes aren’t high enough. But in fact, tax revenues are breaking records. We pay plenty of taxes, but we’re still borrowing more than $1 trillion a year. We don’t have a taxing problem—we have a spending problem.

Every dime the government spends comes from the pockets of the American people. Politicians need to realize that it’s not their money—it’s the people’s money that they worked hard to earn. They ought to start treating our tax dollars with respect.

Congress created the debt ceiling more than a century ago to stop the federal government from taking on too much debt. Hitting the debt ceiling should set off alarm bells for the government and taxpayers. But lately it’s become routine, and some liberals even want to get rid of the debt limit altogether.

At some point we have to say enough is enough. If Congress had acted responsibly 10 or 20 years ago, then we wouldn’t need to take dramatic action. The longer we wait to spend responsibly, the stronger the action we need to take.

Republicans in Congress have been united in saying we need to make a down payment on reducing our deficit. But that’s not what Joe Biden wants to do.

First, Joe Biden ran up our spending for two years. Then he refused to even negotiate with Republicans. Then, finally, Republicans got him to the negotiating table, but he stubbornly refused to do what was necessary.

The Biden bill the Senate voted on this past week waived our debt limit altogether for the next two years. It’s expected this will increase our national debt by another $4 trillion. The President agreed to a handful of Republican ideas to bring down spending, but we are still on pace to borrow another $15 trillion over the next decade. That is nowhere close to good enough.

Over the last two years, the American people have suffered from the worst inflation in 40 years. Inflation is when too many dollars are chasing too few goods. Democrats have flooded the country with government spending, and it’s no surprise that inflation followed.

To deal with this unprecedented debt crisis, we need to do two things: stop the reckless spending and get our economy growing faster. Last week’s Biden bill didn’t accomplish either one—so I voted no.

A recent Forbes study ranked Alabamians as #1 for being responsible with their budgets. Washington, D.C. needs a little bit of Alabama common sense.

We’ve kicked the can down the road long enough. It’s time for Washington to follow Alabamians’ lead and stop the reckless spending.

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