On Sept. 22, 2011, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen warned: “I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is debt.”
He’s right — and not the only military or intelligence expert to offer a similar sentiment. The United States of America faces many existential threats from ISIS, rogue nations and illegal immigration. However, our nation encounters no greater menace than our inability to bring our debt under control. This internal, bipartisan recklessness endangers Americans everywhere.
As of May 4, 2018, the public debt stood at $21,037,962,909,322.34. In less than a year, the U.S. saw the national debt surpass $20 trillion (September) and $21 trillion (March). This fiscal year, Congress passed seven short-term spending bills that were signed into law, culminating with a $1.3 trillion omnibus package in March. None of these spending bills balanced the federal budget or cut spending.
Worse still — in passing these short-term spending bills (or continuing resolutions — CR’s), Congress did so without following “regular order,” which allows members of Congress to offer and debate amendments to appropriations bills. These CR’s were crafted by a select few in Congress, away from the majority of members and with little transparency for our constituents.