Debt ceiling deal won't deliver on inflation or America. Senate must scrap it

June 1, 2023

Fox News

Sen. Rick Scott

June 1, 2023

While I made it clear this week that I do not support the debt ceiling deal, I believe Speaker Kevin McCarthy and our House Republican negotiators gave it their best against a president who does not care about how the inflation he created, retirement concerns and medical bills are causing havoc on families all across this country. 

It’s OK to acknowledge that the deal being voted on this week may be the best that could be done with this president who refused to negotiate or even discuss this issue for months. But that acknowledgment must come with a second part: This legislation will only bury us deeper in debt and won’t actually deal with the raging inflation that is hurting every American family.

Now conservatives in Congress have a choice. We can either do business with the devil knowing this debt ceiling bill will not slay inflation, reduce retirement concerns or medical bills. Or, we can say now is the time to live within our means and stop inflation in its tracks. 

If the time to say no is not today, when is it? Is it when we hit $40 trillion in debt, mortgage rates climb north of ten percent and credit card interest rates go over 30%? I say no, that would be far too late. 

So ask yourself this question: is a yes vote this week simply kicking the can down the road and telling American families we don't care about how inflation is impacting their ability to make ends meet. Of course, the answer is yes. 

When a family has a spendthrift child, all they want is for that child to learn to be independent and live within their means. We all love our kids and we don’t want them to fail, but seeing your child be independent and responsible is one of the greatest joys of parenthood. Standing up on your own feels good whether you’re a parent, running a company or leading a state. Only in Washington do people have a hard time accepting this basic and universal truth. 

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of watching people live in D.C.’s fantasy land where debt doesn’t matter, while America burns in the background.

I am a businessman who has negotiated a lot of deals. In every deal, you have to say no at some point. Maybe this is the time all Republicans need to say no. Not to be an obstructionist, but to tell every American family we hear them and we care about them.

When we say no to more debt, we are telling all American families we know inflation is too high and is caused by a federal government that cannot live within its means. By saying no to more debt, we are telling American families we know medical bills are too expensive, along with gas, groceries, college and rent. By saying no, we can force elected leaders to make choices like all American families do. 

Biden will not acknowledge what his reckless spending is doing to the American family. Inflation is causing American families to make tough choices. Inflation and mortgage rates are making housing unaffordable. Interest expense is eating up the federal budget, crowding out military spending when Communist China is building a military to defeat us. 

Let me give you some outrageous numbers. President Biden’s proposed budget for this year was $6.8 TRILLION – a 55% increase since 2019. Meanwhile, the U.S. population has grown less than 2% in that same time. This is the kind of reckless spending that gets embraced in Washington and it’s ruining our country.

The only way out of this mess is to balance the budget, pay down federal debt, reduce the size of government, reduce regulations, make permitting easier and have government only do the must haves. That’s what I did as governor of Florida and the result was more and better paying jobs, less taxes, less debt, better schools and a lower crime rate. 

I supported what House Republicans originally passed in the Limit, Save, Grow Act. It wasn’t perfect, but at least it started the process to a balanced budget, get able-bodied Americans back to work, reduced the regulatory footprint which is killing American jobs and worked to grow the American economy not the Washington, D.C. economy. 

So if our only two options are to make the tough choices to balance our budget or pass this bad bill, the decision is easy. 

Let's do the hard work and make the tough choices so American families can realize the dream that has made our great nation the greatest place for opportunity on Earth. 

Above all, we must understand this – there will never come a day when the permanent political class in either party in Washington will stand up in favor of curtailing runaway spending and debt. But we must all hope that there will come a day when enough responsible adults are sent to Washington to stop this madness.

Republican Rick Scott represents Florida in the United States Senate. He is a former Florida governor.