Raise Debt Ceiling with Significant, But Careful, Deficit Reduction

The federal government will shut down in two weeks, and America could default, if the Administration and Congress, especially House Republicans, fail to agree on raising the debt ceiling and paying the country’s bills.

Our deficits are unsustainable, because costs and expenses keep increasing, while economic growth remains slow. America is the wealthiest country, but we’re also the largest debtor nation.

The economy and the deficit are sides of the same coin. Focusing only on one comes at the expense of the other. Bill Clinton credited his deficit-reduction plan for strong economic growth, but it was achieved with a combination of pro-business policies and fiscal restraint, not austerity and not quantitative easing.

The Administration and Congress should consider the following measures to achieve significant deficit reduction without hampering economic growth: cap spending to inflation; sell federal assets; implement market reforms to lower health care costs; increase taxes on tobacco & alcohol; enact tax amnesty; slash farm subsidies to lessen food prices; Europeanize NATO; raise early-retirement age to 64; gradually elevate Medicare eligibility age, like Social Security, to 67; and remove unnecessary regulations on businesses and industries.

It’s not either the economy or the deficit, it’s a balance between the two, because they’re sides of the same coin!

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