Charles Arlinghaus: I wish we could be more like Canada
Interestingly, our Congress has done something of a reverse Canada. After bottoming out at 31 percent of GDP in 2001 (when the budget was last balanced), the U.S. public debt has skyrocketed to about 74 percent of the economy, with total debt now over 100 percent (which I don’t need to tell you is insane).
Canada had to impose an actual spending cut to reach discipline. We just have to let up on the throttle. Current plans for the next decade would increase spending by 5.3 percent each year — from $3,523 billion to $5,920 billion. If we still increased spending each and every year but merely reduced the rate to 3.4% we would balance the budget in 10 years.
Charles M. Arlinghaus is president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank in Concord.
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