Feb. 13, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Partisans Ignore the Facts on America's National Debt | Commentary

The consequences of this growing fiscal calamity are a concern, according to the CBO, for several reasons, including the “crowding out of capital investment,” the loss of flexibility to lawmakers facing future challenges and “a heightened risk of a fiscal crisis.”

So what is to be done? First, Van Hollen, Kaine and other supporters of Herndon, Ash and Pollen’s conclusions should concede that Reinhart and Rogoff were largely correct in their paper. Additionally, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republicans should explain how the debt is harming America now — which is seen in the tepid growth of the economy.

Once both sides publicly agree the debt is a problem, Congress should focus most of its attention on implementing policies that will prevent a fiscal crisis from arriving. This should start with the elimination of massive budget inefficiencies in Washington, thorough tax reform and the elimination of harmful regulations.

In the end, the answer to the growing debt problem the CBO, the Treasury Department and others see coming is simple: Washington must let the American economy flow once again without the Beltway’s interference. Otherwise, the dark future they see will become more than a mere academic theory — it will be reality. And the willingness of Congress to ignore the problem for the sake of political expediency will be shown for the charlatan practice it is.

Kavon W. Nikrad is the founder and editor-in-chief of the campaign and elections website Race42016.com and a 2011-2012 policy fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

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