As one of the first primary states, South Carolina has the privilege of helping to narrow the presidential field. With such great privilege comes an even greater responsibility to make sure the candidates address one of our nation’s most pressing problems: the growing national debt.
Regardless of party or ideology, whoever is elected will be faced with a national debt that is projected to exceed the size of the economy before 2040, driving up interest rates and hampering investments.
In fact, 100 percent of the revenue we collect will go toward interest payments and mandatory spending by the early 2030s, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This leaves little to no room for us to improve our nation’s declining infrastructure.
Government report: Budget deficit to rise to $544B this year
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The debt is a difficult issue to discuss responsibly, but South Carolinians know that entitlement spending is growing too rapidly, driving the debt upward and endangering the prosperity of the middle-class. Costs for programs such as Social Security and Medicare continue to rise without the necessary funds to pay for them, with the Social Security trust funds projected to be depleted by 2034.
It will be the job of the new president to work with Congress to come up with a comprehensive solution, which must include making our corporate tax rate — the highest in the developed world — more competitive in order to encourage sustainable economic growth.
We’ve made some progress in the past few years, with deficits declining from $1.4 trillion in 2009 to $439 billion last year. But trillion-dollar deficits are projected to return by 2022.
As the candidates travel across South Carolina listening to our concerns, it’s important that we remind them of the urgency in finding a solution to our mounting debt. Future generations need the assurance that America is a fiscally responsible country that will address our looming problems, not ignore them.
Chairman and President
Michelin North America