On Tuesday, the federal debt passed $16 trillion for the first time in history. With the presidential election looming, both sides of the aisle continue to make the case for how to handle the deficit, and who’s to blame.
In his nomination acceptance speech Thursday night, President Barack Obama said his economic plan would cut $4 trillion from the federal debt.
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., met on Independence Mall in Philadelphia with Mitt Romney supporters to say that’s not enough. Toomey says Obama’s polices have put the economy in harm’s way.
“It’s not helpful to run staggering deficits. It’s not helpful to do an $800 billion wasteful stimulus package that adds to our debt,” said the first-term senator. “It’s not helpful to have regulatory policies that put entire businesses — I mean, we closed six power plants in Pennsylvania because they can’t comply with a new wave of regulations.”
Toomey says a new term for Obama could lead to a European-level debt crisis.
“When you rack up an unprecedented amount of debt, you can see what happens by looking across the Atlantic,” Toomey said. “This doesn’t end well.”
Toomey supports the Romney/Ryan plan to reduce the debt by closing tax loopholes, repealing the Affordable Care Act and establishing a subsidy program as an alternative to Medicare. That plan calls for individuals to buy health insurance through a government subsidy, instead of having a government-run system.
Obama says he can reduce debt without “sticking it to the middle class” by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan (which both plans take into account) and by ending Bush-era tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year.
Since his inauguration in 2009, Obama has seen the debt rise more than $5 trillion.
Debt has been carried by the United States every year since 1790, but didn’t top $1 trillion until 1982.