Concord Coalition Says Candidates Fail to Address Unsustainable Debt

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The Concord Coalition expressed disappointment that tonight’s presidential debate failed to give the American people any idea what President Biden and former President Trump would do about the nation’s spiraling debt burden, which both men have contributed to. 

What we heard tonight on the debt was a combination of finger-pointing, fallacy, and fantasy.

The moderators did ask one question about the debt, but did not press for clarification on the candidates’ evasive answers. Ignoring the debt will not make it go away. It will just make it more difficult to deal with and push the cost onto the backs of today’s young people who already have enough to worry about. 

There was a lot of talk about the economy, national security, and protecting seniors, but no acknowledgement that all of these things are at risk from a debt burden that will soon exceed levels not seen since the end of World War II. Neither candidate mentioned that interest on the debt is on track to eclipse Medicare and defense spending this year, becoming the second largest item after Social Security in the federal budget. Do they think that’s good?

Nor did they fully explain what they would do about the 17 percent cut for Social Security beneficiaries in 2035 or the 11 percent cut for Medicare providers in 2036 that will result from the Do Nothing Plan. President Biden proposed just one idea. President Trump did not offer any ideas. 

Another debate is scheduled for September. We hope that by then the candidates will have something useful to say about a subject they were happy to sweep under the rug tonight.

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