CONGRESS WAS set to face a moment of reckoning in September. After years of reckless spending, the government would once again come up against the debt ceiling, meaning the country could no longer borrow to pay for out-of-control expenditures.

This could have been a moment to begin getting serious about our mushrooming national debt, to rein in the excesses that threaten our future, and to show that Congress was committed to ending the business-as-usual behavior that has led to Americans preferring root canals to Congress.

Instead, the debt ceiling deadline simply became the latest shameful example of Washington leveraging a crisis to increase spending and continuing to put our nation’s fiscal future at risk. With a budget deal that piles up $1.7 trillion in new debt over the next decade, Congress has once again chosen to kick the can down the road.

Budgeting by crisis is a lousy strategy for your finances at home and an equally terrible idea for America. But instead of having the courage to stay in Washington and work to find a solution, Congress instead chose the drunken sailor route, with no regard for where this path leads. It’s time for lawmakers to commit to moving forward with serious spending reforms. That’s particularly true of our congressional delegation representing the frugal Granite State, where we know that you can’t keep spending money you don’t have.

We are not only bankrupting future generations, but putting our current seniors at risk. The Medicare trust fund will begin to run a deficit in just seven years, and seven years after that, the Social Security trust fund does the same, when the programs become reliant solely on current tax receipts. That means automatic cuts for beneficiaries. This is not something far off in the distant future. It’s about to happen to people you know, maybe to you.

And while last week’s vote was the latest iteration, this crisis has been decades in the making. We’ve all seen this coming.

Over the past 15 years, Americans for Prosperity has consistently offered solutions to repairing our ongoing fiscal problems, both to Republicans and Democrats. Today, we call on both parties to stop pointing fingers and start having critical, reality-based conversations about bringing responsibility back to federal spending.

Any solution must deal with the biggest drivers of the federal budget: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These programs, which are critical to seniors and many disabled individuals, account for 84% of increases in projected federal spending over the next decade. The unfunded liability of just Medicare and Social Security is $56 trillion, dwarfing even our national debt.

Fixing these programs will not be easy and must be done in a way that protects those who depend on them, but they are an integral part of resolving our nation’s long-term debt crisis.

At the same time, we must also scale back discretionary spending if we are going to make a significant dent in the massive deficits that the Congressional Budget Office is projecting for the next 10 years. Busting discretionary spending caps by $320 billion over the next two years is taking us in the wrong direction.

As we listen to lawmakers, the President and the candidates in our first-in-the-nation primary state, conversations about reducing debt and deficits are few and far between, if we hear anything at all. For future generations, this silence is deafening.

Ross Connolly lives in Merrimack. He is deputy state director of Americans for Prosperity in New Hampshire.

Sunday, July 05, 2020
Friday, July 03, 2020

THE BEAUTY of quarantine is that you don’t have to see people you don’t want to see, which simplifies life, just as memory loss does. Life comes down to basics. Sleeping, eating, talking, reading, writing, cooking, doing your business. Days are so quiet that a cup of ginger tea might be a hi…

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

NOW that statues of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant and Theodore Roosevelt have been desecrated, vandalized, toppled and smashed, it appears Woodrow Wilson’s time has come. The cultural revolution has come to the Ivy League. Though Wilson attended Princeton as an un…

Sunday, June 28, 2020
Friday, June 26, 2020

MY ADVICE to you, young people, is to start asking questions of your elders about family history and who did what when and why and don’t stop until you get answers because, though you’re much too cool to be interested in family history now, someday you’ll want to know these things and by tha…

Sunday, June 21, 2020

“POLICING itself started out as slave patrols. We know that,” Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) declared in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier. Clyburn, the House majority whip, is the third highest ranking Democrat in Congress. He’s widely respected. And he’s wrong. Or, to be more generous, he’…

Friday, June 19, 2020

I’VE NOW spent three months in a Manhattan apartment with my wife and daughter, a life that is not so different from, say, living in a lighthouse in the Orkneys. We can see tall buildings, some bright lights, helicopters overhead, but it’s not the New York high life I dreamed of growing up i…

Saturday, June 13, 2020

In these trying times, it’s difficult to find something to smile about. But I’ve found some modicum of mirth watching very sympathetic liberals go the extra mile to help hone the message of activists calling to “defund the police.” For instance, Katy Tur, an MSNBC anchor, had Isaac Bryan, th…

ON Gen. George Washington’s orders, the Declaration of Independence, signed in Philadelphia, was read aloud to his army. On hearing it, the troops marched to Bowling Green, decapitated and pulled down the statue of George III, and sent the remnants to be melted down into musket balls.

Friday, June 12, 2020

A MAN in isolation in a pandemic with his wife in an apartment is a sailor without a ship and a cowboy with no horse and I shouldn’t complain but life without complaint would be too much like church so I will. A year ago my wife and I left our 5-BR house and became apartment people because w…

Sunday, June 07, 2020

BOTH President Donald Trump and candidate Joe Biden visited churches on Monday — though “visit” is a poor descriptor of what Trump did. Consistent with his life pattern, he didn’t actually enter a church. Rather, he positioned his body in front of St. John’s Episcopal and held a Bible aloft,…