Conrad urges Geithner: “More must be done” on nation’s fiscal problems

Kent Conrad

FARGO – North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad told Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today that President Obama’s proposed budget needs to do more to reduce the national deficits and debt.

In a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee, Conrad told Geithner about his mixed support for the 2012 budget plan – emphasizing that the president’s long-term plans don’t go far enough in fixing the mounting fiscal challenges America faces.

“Make no mistake, we are at a critical juncture,” said Conrad, who serves as the committee’s chairman. “We are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend.  Spending is at its highest level as a share of the economy in more than 60 years.  Revenue is at its lowest level as a share of the economy in more than 60 years.  That is unsustainable.”

“We need to return the budget to a sustainable long-term fiscal trajectory,” Conrad added.

Conrad is calling for a comprehensive debt-reduction plan like the one proposed last year by the president’s fiscal commission. Conrad was a member of that commission.

Conrad, known as a “deficit hawk,” said any plan must include spending cuts, entitlement changes, and fundamental tax reform that simplifies the tax code, lowers rates, and raises more revenue.

“To solve the long-term challenge, it will require real compromise and a great deal of political will,” Conrad said. “We need to have both sides, Democrats and Republicans, willing to move off their fixed positions and find common ground. We cannot continue to put this off.  We need to reach an agreement this year.  It is time for the administration and members on both sides of the aisle to come together to get this done.”

4 thoughts on “Conrad urges Geithner: “More must be done” on nation’s fiscal problems

  1. Pingback: Staff blog: Conrad urges Geithner: "More must be done" on nation’s fiscal problems | North Dakota News

  2. The very best thing that government can do in these time of trouble is to DO NOTHING. Anything else will only prolong the problem. Let the free market sort it out. Those companies (especially banks) that are in trouble and can’t make a profit must be allowed to go bankrupt. Those that remain may then bid on their assets at pennies on the dollar and make a profit — which is taxed. The end result is that the government (taxpayer) does not go into more debt — as it is debt that caused the problem in the first place. Conrad is just another big government stooge. The free market is the only way this is all going to get sorted out.

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