President Obama’s deficit commission unveiled its plan to make a dent in America’s ballooning deficit earlier this week. The administration is under pressure to reduce the country’s debt, but will the committee be able to come to an agreement? Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, who is on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force, joined Varney & Co. this morning to share what he thinks should be done.
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“I think we began the debate. I think the president’s commission will continue the debate,” said Fmr. Gov. Keating. “Obviously, it’s up to the Congress to have the courage to fix the problem, but remember from George Washington to the start of George W. Bush the national debt was $5 trillion. From the start of George W. Bush to the end of George W. Bush, a mere eight years, was another $5 trillion and the national debt was doubled. Now, we’re up to $3.5 to $4 trillion more.”
The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force issued a plan in early November focusing on job creation and the soaring federal deficit. Fmr. Gov. Keating says if changes are not made, America’s future is on the line. “By 2025, every cent of federal tax revenues will go to Medicare, Medicaid, social security and interest on the debt,” said Fmr. Gov. Keating. “We’ll have to borrow from the Chinese to pay for the Department of Defense. We’ll have to borrow from the Japanese to pay for my old organization, the FBI. It’s an unconscionable, unlivable situation. Something’s got to be done.”
Washington is feeling the heat. Congress needs to act fast. But what changes should be made?
“Freeze domestic spending for four years, defense spending for five years, and to focus on two simple tax rates; 26% and 15%,” said Fmr. Gov Keating. We need to get rid of most or all the exemptions and credit deductions so people will make growth decisions. Happiness will be based upon what’s best for them and their families and not what’s best on the tax code. We balance the budget by 2014 and with the use of a national sales tax we’ll focus on deficit reduction and debt elimination.”
The growing debt is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but an American issue. A vote is scheduled for President Obama’s Deficit Commission tomorrow.