Former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis sounded the alarm on America’s federal deficit Wednesday on “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and said if both parties don’t act fast it could spin out of control.
“I’m worried about it on both sides. I mean, I don’t hear either party talking about this and I’m astonished,” he said.
“We’re about to run regular trillion-dollar operating deficits in this country, we’re spending already $600 billion on debt service alone, just servicing the national debt. And I don’t hear anything from either side.
“I don’t know where the Republicans are and we certainly didn’t hear much about it from the Democrats. And I think somebody’s got to start paying attention to this.”
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Host Neil Cavuto asked why voters don’t prioritize debt as a major campaign issue and Dukakis said most citizens are borrowers at heart, before slamming President Trump’s tax policy.
“I guess we’re all borrowers or something. I mean now Trump’s considering another tax cut. I can’t believe this,” he replied. “With a trillion-dollar deficit staring you in the face, it makes no sense to me.”
Dukakis said both parties are spending as if they have an unlimited supply of cash, with no regard for the future. He also specifically cited the Department of Defense as one of the biggest debt creating culprits.
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“Both sides are acting as if you know, we’ve got a huge surplus and it doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said. “Now look, I’m a progressive guy as you know. I’m strongly for making sure that every working family in America has decent, affordable health care. And I think these things are affordable, but you’ve got to take a look at where you’re spending your money.
“I think personally that this defense budget is totally out of control. I mean $750 billion for the military — more than the next 14 countries combined including China and Russia. What is this? Eight hundred and thirty-seven American bases in 150 countries. I don’t understand that either. So I hope, and it’s early — I hope we’re going to have some good, strong debate about this on both sides and start making some sense here.”
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Trump recently reached a deal with congressional Democrats after the House passed a bill Thursday, increasing the debt limit through 2021. It also set overall spending limits to prevent $125 billion in automatic spending cuts from affecting military and domestic programs.
The bill passed by a 284-149 vote, with most of the support coming from Democrats with 219 votes. 65 Republicans voted yes, while 132 Republicans voted no.