The federal debt is a “ticking time bomb” that puts the U.S. economy at risk, jeopardizes our standard of living and threatens national security, according to a new report by Strengthening of America – Our Children’s Future.
Strengthening of America is a bipartisan initiative launched earlier this year to focus more public attention on the fiscal, economic and security challenges facing the country -- and on possible solutions that elected officials should be considering.
“Ultimately, this is a moral issue,” says the report, which was released Friday. “We inherited a country with a sound balance sheet that underpinned a growing economy in which children could look forward to being better off than their parents. Unless we act now, we will pass along to our children and grandchildren a nation weighed down by unmanageable debt.”
Former Senators Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), Warren Rudman (R-N.H.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) convened a bipartisan group of former senators and representatives for four public forums that featured prominent experts on various aspects of the country’s fiscal difficulties.
The Concord Coalition is among the eight organizations that have been involved in the Strengthening of America project. Nunn is a co-chair of Concord, as was Rudman up until his death last month.
The final report on the Strengthening of America forums discusses five broad principles that emerged from them:
1. The U.S. debt is a ticking time bomb for our economy.
2. The debt is the “most significant threat to our national security.”
3. The United States “cannot have economic growth without fiscal stability or fiscal stability without economic growth.”
4. Putting the debt on a sustainable path will require “reductions in the projected cost of entitlement programs, cuts in discretionary spending, and higher revenues.”
5. Solutions are possible if our nation’s leaders are willing to compromise.
While the year-end fiscal cliff should be avoided, the report says, “it is the long-term debt burden this country faces that threatens our existence as a global power.”