CANDIDATES OWE VOTERS ANSWERS ON DEBT, SPENDING
Public Notice Challenges Candidates to Answer Tough Questions on Debt and Spending at Debate
Arlington, Va. – In advance of this week’s presidential debate, Public Notice today released a memo outlining questions President Obama and Governor Romney must answer for the American people regarding debt and government spending.
According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, federal spending and national debt topped every other listed concern among registered voters including jobs and the economy. According to Public Notice polling, voter concern over spending and the debt has increased by 10 points just this year.
Despite this growing concern, neither presidential candidate has won voter confidence on spending and the debt. According to Public Notice’s August poll, only 44 percent of likely voters believe President Obama has a plan to lower the debt, while 49 percent believe Mitt Romney does.
Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice, issued the following statement regarding the memo:
“With the national debt recently topping $16 trillion and voters listing debt and government spending as a top concern, both candidates have a responsibility to clearly explain their plan to address the problem. Since neither has detailed a plan to reduce the debt, it isn’t surprising that neither holds a commanding lead on the issue. Fiscal responsibility is always good policy, but right now it is actually smart politics too. Americans stand ready to embrace the candidate who presents a bold plan for action. Are the candidates up to the challenge?”
Questions for the Candidates:
- We have run a trillion dollar deficit each year since 2009. Can you promise we will not run a $1 trillion dollar deficit next fiscal year?
- FY 2010: $1.3 trillion
- FY 2011: $1.3 trillion
- FY 2012 (projected): $1.1 trillion
- Washington has failed to pass a budget for the past three years. What can the president do to break the gridlock and encourage the budget process? Will Washington pass a budget next year under your leadership?
- Some economists believe that Medicare growth is the biggest threat to our long-term fiscal health and believe that reform, rather than a simple haircut, is needed to ensure the program will not go bankrupt. What will you do to ensure that Medicare will be around in some form 30 years from now and that our children will not be left to deal with our inability to fix it?
- According to the Pew Research Center, 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day.
- According to the Medicare Board of Trustees, if healthcare spending continues on its current trend, Medicare’s trust fund will be completely exhausted by 2024.
- Since 2008, the role of the federal government in the economy has grown with corporate bailouts, stimulus spending and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The result has been trillion dollar deficits each year since FY 2009 and “the worst recovery in history,” according to CBS News. Do you view trillion dollar deficits and an economy increasingly dependent on the federal government as conducive to long-term growth and prosperity?
- Reducing our debt will require working with members of both parties. Name a member of the other party from the House and Senate you think you can work with on deficit reduction and why.
- Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen has called the debt “the most significant threat to our national security.” Do you think we have reached a point where the marginal returns on our current level of government spending are no longer worth the risks, both to our national security and our economy?