In Conclusion

The American Experiment

The American experiment began with a suspicion as to whether the virtue of our founding could be maintained. Benjamin Franklin famously told a curious citizen in Philadelphia in 1776 that the form of government settled on by the Constitutional Convention was “a republic, if you can keep it.”

A half a century later, French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville assessed early America with great intrigue, but is said to have surmised, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Nearly 200 years have gone by since de Tocqueville criss-crossed the land of promise in its early days, and America has stood the test of time by any measure. Self-government, at first the wide-eyed hope of young Founding Fathers, is now more common throughout the world than not.

Though it has been the inspiration of a new world order, the American Republic has seemingly edged ever closer to its undoing by the abandonment of virtue in Washington. The late U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, MD, having spent the latter part of his career in Congress railing against “careerism” in Washington, concluded, “career politicians do not have the courage to prioritize spending and say no to the demanding special interest groups who do not reflect the best interest of the country.”

The rise of the billion dollar “industry of influence” in Washington in recent decades, has coincided with an unprecedented rise in federal spending, far outpacing revenues, to fund the Federal Government. The result is more than $30 trillion in national debt on a trajectory to dramatically worsen over the course of the next generation.

The recommendations offered here are a common-sense, material attempt to alter that trajectory. But to be realized, they require the political will to insist on the Republic’s fiscal health. Structural reforms are past due; proposals like those contained in the Responsible Budget Targets Act (S. 4016/H.R. 7420) must be presented to the American people and demanded of their leaders. Nearly three out of every four American voters think that the national debt should be a top-3 issue for the President and Congress. It is time their voices be heard.

Since a pandemic hurled the world into chaos and historic economic stimulus, this set of recommendations is the first attempt to pick up the pieces and restore fiscal stewardship in America.

While these policy solutions will inevitably face opposition on Capitol Hill where lobbyists exclusively advocate for more spending, they represent a simple and straightforward path to stabilizing the national debt and, indeed, securing the solvency of the American experiment.

Here’s to hoping these debt recommendations are read and considered by leaders from the left to the right, from Tennessee to Washington, and beyond.

Thank you for reading.

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