How to save America from death by debt? Run it like a business
February 3, 2023
Sen. Rick Scott
February 3, 2023
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently told the press that, "We’ll win," the debt ceiling fight. "We’ll" meaning Democrats, of course. A "win" for him is to increase the nation’s debt, increase the prices you pay and increase mortgage rates you pay. So, his "win" is a loss for you.
Here’s why: When Schumer was elected to Congress 43 years ago, in 1980, the federal debt was $914 billion and America’s debt to GDP ratio was 32%. Since then, the federal debt has grown by more than 3,000% and now sits at $31.38 TRILLION. Today, our debt to GDP has skyrocketed to nearly 125% - higher than at any time in our nation’s history. Along the way, career politicians like Chuck Schumer and their friends on Wall Street have profited from America’s fiscal decline.
Schumer’s track record of fiscal stewardship for America’s taxpayer dollars is gross negligence and utter failure from someone that has spent their career saying we can’t run government like a business. How would he know that?
Unlike any career politician here in Washington, I was governor of a large state and led it out of an economic recession. And I did it by using my decades of business experience to guide my decisions. In the four years before I took office, Florida had lost more than 800,000 jobs, taxes had increased by more than $2 billion and the economy was in complete freefall.
In January 2011, we went to work. From day one, we scrutinized how every taxpayer dollar was spent, made cuts where the spending didn’t make sense and wasn’t providing a return for Florida families, and pushed more money into the things that people truly cared about. We increased funding for K-12 education by more than $4.5 billion, invested $85 billion in Florida infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports and seaports, grew the budget for Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection to a record $1.78 billion and put more than $2 billion into Everglades restoration.
We did all of that while cutting taxes 100 times to save Florida families and businesses $10 billion. We slashed nearly 5,400 burdensome regulations to get government out of the way and make it easier to start a business and create jobs in the Sunshine State and we paid down more than $10 billion in state debt and for the first time in state history achieved an AAA rating for all three major ratings agencies.
At the end of my second term, the results of our work couldn’t have been more clear. Over my eight-year administration, Florida businesses created nearly 1.7 million new private sector jobs, driving the unemployment rate from 10.8% in 2010 to just 3.3% in 2018. Because we focused on growing our economy, the state’s GDP reached $1 trillion for the first time in our history, our state annual general revenue grew by nearly 50% and our reserves jumped 71%. And again, we did it while cutting taxes and paying down the debt.
This wasn’t rocket science, but it does require something that is hard to find in Washington – courage. You have to be willing to get a ton of bad press and have the Democrats scream like stuck pigs. They’ll say the world is ending and that America is doomed. All lies that they’ve been trying to sell for years to protect that reckless spending and massive debt that keeps them and their friends on Wall Street happy and rich.
Today, the U.S. federal government is bringing in record revenues. Over the last four years, federal revenues have grown by 40%, from $3.4 trillion to $4.8 trillion, and yet we continue to run trillion-dollar-plus deficits and dig ourselves deeper into unsustainable debt. That doesn’t make sense to me or any person in the real world outside of Washington.
The dirty little secret in Washington is this – we can grow our way out of debt, and we can protect Social Security and Medicare at the same time. But there are literally thousands of things we need to stop wasting money on, starting with paying the salaries of 87,000 new IRS agents.
Anyone who says that America is best served by changing nothing and raising the debt ceiling with zero reform to how Congress is recklessly spending taxpayer money is too incompetent to serve in elected office. As long as Democrats treat this like a game they can win, you lose.