Sessions: Country’s debt course is unsustainablePublished 11:38am Tuesday, April 2, 2013
While the U.S. Senate has passed a budget for the first time in four years, it has a zero real deficit reduction.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, visited Troy Tuesday night with financial issues on his mind.
“A budget is a vision you set out for the economy for the next 10 years,” Sessions shared with the Troy Kiwanis Club, noting that he believes the Democratic-controlled Senate had not passed a budget in so long because they didn’t want to dirty their hands with cuts.
“They have been very successful in avoiding exposing themselves,” Session said. “The House passed a bill – No Budget, No Pay. So the Democrats finally sat down and made a budget.”
The budget plan was approved by a narrow margin of 50 to 49. And although it has passed, Sessions said it doesn’t balance. The Senate budget increases taxes, increases spending and adds $7.3 trillion to the nation’s debt.
Sessions said the country needs to be “open and honest” about the nation’s financial state. The United States is $17 trillion in debt and interest on that debt is projected to be the fastest growing item on the budget. At the end of 10 years, there will be an estimated $800 billion in debt interest.
“It is a really damaging thing for America,” Sessions said. “It is not responsible to run up that much debt.”
Another concern of Sessions is the Department of Defense.
“The Sequester has disproportionately hit the defense department,” Sessions said. “These kind of cuts are too much and could impact the military in damaging ways.”
Sessions said half of the Sequester cuts fall on the Department of Defense. He stated he feels local companies, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin, and military base Ft. Rucker are enduring, but rapid changes could bring about “some painful aspects.” Sessions said he’d like to see other agencies tighten their belts instead of cutting so much of the defense budget.
While Sessions said that lawmakers in Washington get along better than most people realize, the mood is “uneasy” in the nation’s capitol.
“The American people, I think, are tired of our reckless spending,” Sessions shared, adding that he feels most people were even accepting of military cuts if that is the best the government could do.
“We remain on a debt course that is unsustainable,” Sessions said. “Social security, Medicare are unsustainable.”
And while those items could be worked on, Sessions said he isn’t optimistic.
“Too much politics, it looks like, is involved.”
Sessions’ visit in Troy is only one of many planned this week in the area. The senator will also appear at events in Andalusia, Enterprise, Ozark and Eufaula.