One of the most challenging issues facing the nation is the federal budget deficit. In ’20, the federal budget deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion (Links to an external site.), double the previous record, as revenues decreased and spending soared during the pandemic (w/ the pandemic projected to produce a budget deficit in excess of $4.2 trillion) (Links to an external site.). Also significant, the federal debt is equal to 100% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, and is projected to reach 130% of GDP in ’26 (the previous record was 106% during World War II).
There is pressure on Congress and the President to create a long-term plan to reduce federal spending and/or increase revenues to address the budget deficit. Students should have a spirited discussion of the actions Congress and the President should consider taking to address the federal budget deficit.
For instance, in what areas of the federal budget should Congress reduce spending: Defense, Social Security, Education, Health and Human Services (which includes Medicaid and Medicare)? What type of taxes should Congress consider increasing – if any – to generate additional revenues? Is the federal government spending too much money in an effort to address the economic fallout resulting from the pandemic (Links to an external site.)?
Also, is it time for a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution? Or, was former Vice President Cheney correct when he was famously quoted as saying “deficits don’t matter?” (Links to an external site.)
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