“In 2007, for instance, our deficit was only 1.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This year, it will be over 10 percent of GDP. The debt already has doubled in only four years, and it is expected to triple in 11 years.”June 6, 2011 from Senator Pat Toomey
Thank you for contacting me about the debt and fiscal responsibility. I appreciate hearing from you as I begin my Senate service on behalf of Pennsylvania.
As you know, the debt limit is an important issue before Congress right now. The current limit, which was last raised in February 2010, is $14.3 trillion. Although $14.3 trillion sounds like an awfully big figure to most Americans, we are unfortunately approaching the limit quickly due to the record high deficits that this Administration has been running.
While Congress debates an increase in the debt limit, I believe it is important to look at what got us here. As you may know, total federal spending has doubled since 2000. In addition, recent deficits have grossly exceeded those that we were running only a few years ago. In 2007, for instance, our deficit was only 1.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This year, it will be over 10 percent of GDP. The debt already has doubled in only four years, and it is expected to triple in 11 years. The consequences of such fiscal mismanagement will be devastating to our economy, not to mention to future generations who will be saddled with debt and a government they can no longer afford.
It is clear that Washington has a serious spending problem, and the American people want Congress to make the tough choices necessary to address it. The debt limit presents a reasonable opportunity for such choices to be made. After all, one of the reasons we have a debt limit in the first place is that it forces Congress to re-examine the policies that put our country so far in the red. I therefore value your input and ideas as I continue working with my Senate colleagues on the debt limit and restoring fiscal responsibility.
Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.