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A sensible plan to reduce the federal debt

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The following March 16, 2006, comments made in a speech on the U.S. Senate Floor by Sen. Barack H. Obama reflected a U.S. economy on a path to fiscal instability for our children and grandchildren.

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

Sen. Obama’s assessments and criticisms were absolutely valid. Unfortunately, after four years in office, President Obama has failed to solve America’s debt problem or even put the country on a path to balancing the budget and cutting the debt.

The American people have common sense. They know that their income is not infinite and that they must budget their spending to stay within the limits of their income. At the very least, the American taxpayer should expect the Senate to pass a budget and not treat the American taxpayer as an infinite source of income for their spending. Yet, the Senate has not passed a full budget since April 29, 2009.

Currently, the U.S. debt is nearly $16.5 trillion and rising fast. Where are the government’s detailed plans that show how it is going to budget its resources to pay its debt?

A possible solution has been proposed by Rep. Connie Mack of Florida, the “One Percent Spending Reduction Act.” If passed, the act would require Congress to reduce federal spending by one cent per dollar of gross domestic product annually until 2018. That would reduce the debt from 25 percent of GDP to 18 percent, where it would be capped to balance the budget.

America does have a debt problem. As leader of the country and his party, the president needs to take the reins and ensure that the Senate proposes a sensible budget that reduces spending and provides a path to solvency for the future of our children and grandchildren.

Nancy W. Foster

Louisville

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