As the Biden administration’s policies have fueled inflation and the national debt, Sen. Rick Scott is calling on Congress to get tough on trying to control reckless spending.
The Florida Republican circulated a letter to other senators last week arguing Congress must do something about “our nation’s massive and unsustainable debt” as lawmakers prepare to debate raising the debt ceiling.
He maintained that “significant and structural reforms in how Washington spends taxpayer dollars” is needed to overcome the “continued inaction” on spending that only hurts American families and businesses.
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Scott’s letter, dated Thursday, was sent exactly two years after he first issued this warning. “Since my last letter two years ago, the debt has grown from $27 trillion to more than $31 trillion – that’s more than $239,000 for every American household, up from $227,000 in January 2021,” he wrote. “I find it hard to believe that any member of this body is satisfied with the growth in our debt, or the hundreds of billions we are paying in interest to maintain it each year. Now, it’s time to do something about it.”
Scott criticized Congress for its “reckless disregard for the consequences of a growing national debt” that not only undermines the federal government’s ability to serve the American people, but also drives up inflation.
The GOP senator noted that two years ago, inflation was projected to increase from 1.4% to 2.3%. But those estimates were “not in the same universe of the horrific price increases American families have been subjected to since President [Joe] Biden took office. Under Biden, inflation has rocketed to as much as 13.7% annually and the most current figure is roughly quadruple what it was when Biden took over.
Additionally, the cost of paying interest on the national debt is on track to soon surpass what America spends on national defense.
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“For families looking to make ends meet each month, rising prices of essential goods and services is not merely a statistical ‘risk’ – it’s an existential threat,” Scott wrote.
“Every member of this body knows that there is a direct link between the federal government’s unsustainable spending and the rising cost of goods and services,” Scott continued. “This is disastrous for American families – especially hourly workers and low income households. … These are the families that inflation hits the hardest and these are the families we must protect.”
With the debt-ceiling debate looming, Scott added, “Congress cannot stand by and allow American families to be forced to keep doing more with less. To do so would be a profound betrayal of the promises we made in swearing to represent their interests.”
In looking for solutions, the senator added, Democrats have only answered with “nothing more than the status quo.”
“They have accepted a continuation of our current crisis: record high inflation, growing federal debt, higher interest rates and a rapid decay of opportunity for families across our nation to rise up and live their American dream,” Scott wrote.
“Worse, many Democrats are alleging that anyone who dares to push for change that will bring America’s fiscal house back in order is an anarchist, pushing our country toward default. It’s a lie but one that the media has unquestionably carried and spread.”
“If we change nothing, nothing will change. Inflation will continue, interest rates will stay high and opportunity for the hardworking families in each of our states will fade,” Scott noted. “Republicans are demanding changes now because America cannot afford to kick this can down the road a moment longer. There is a day of reckoning for the insane spending and massive debt that Washington has become so accustomed to and it will destroy our country if we let it.”
The current situation, he maintained, requires “thoughtful choices that reduce unnecessary spending which provides inadequate returns to American taxpayers,” accompanied by an emphasis on economic growth.
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“We have to make tough choices. We must refocus the efforts of government on the critical needs of the American people. We must scrutinize every tax dollar spent and make certain that waste, fraud and abuse is eliminated to every extent possible,” Scott said.
“Solving America’s debt crisis and mitigating the devastating impacts of inflation require us to reimagine how the federal government operates. Rising to accept this challenge may be the most important work any of us do in our service to the American people.”
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