Kenosha News Editorial: America Can’t Keep Running With a Deficit | Editorial

Last week, President Joe Biden released his budget plan which includes a total of $5.8 trillion in federal spending for fiscal year 2023, which begins in October. Based on this plan, the deficit for the year would be $1.15 trillion. It’s not acceptable.

As part of a press release announcing the budget, the White House insists on a lower deficit, saying that “the strongest economic growth in four decades, fueled by the US bailout, also contributed to a historic decline from the deficit — fueling strong revenue growth and allowing the administration to responsibly reduce pandemic-related emergency spending.

That doesn’t mean much, considering how much money has been doled out in COVID stimulus funds. Some of the initial unemployment funds for individuals and businesses were needed to weather the COVID shutdowns. But many of the subsequent stimulus funds weren’t really needed. So by increasing the deficit, we are not saying too much.

In America, there is a movement underway for states to establish a convention of states, where under the Constitution, if enough states come together, they can impose budget restrictions on the federal government. The Wisconsin legislature is one of at least 16 states that have signed on to hold a state convention, and 34 states are needed. But it shouldn’t take a convention of states to have a balanced budget.

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The president should propose a balanced budget, with money set aside for emergencies. This is how states should operate. This is how businesses and ordinary people should operate.

This is how the federal government should operate as well. It’s not like it’s impossible. It was possible under President Bill Clinton. Admittedly, times were different when Clinton was in power from 1993 to 2001, but the economic policies in place then show that it is still possible to operate without a deficit.

As a nation, we must continue to deliver on our promises to people, including funding Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But on top of that, there are a lot of discretionary expenses and fats that can be taken out.

Former President Donald Trump was no better than Biden when it came to deficit reduction. It was not acceptable either.

The president’s job is to establish what the spending priorities should be and then push Congress to pass it.

The budget should not start with a deficit from day one. Ultimately, this deficit will catch up with America and all of us if left unmanaged.

Editorial Committee

  • Mark Lewis
  • Steven T. Lovejoy
    editor emeritus
  • Tom Farley
    news editor
  • Stephanie Jones

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