Editorials

Palazzo’s vote to end Obamacare could increase debt by trillions

U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo voted for Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 on Friday.
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo voted for Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 on Friday. ttisbell@sunherald.com

The vote by the U.S. House to begin dismantling the Affordable Care Act also would allow the federal debt to increase by $9 trillion over the next 10 years.

Rep. Steven Palazzo voted for Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 even though he has regularly talked about the need for getting federal spending under control.

Jill Duckworth, spokeswoman for Palazzo, said the budget resolution voted on Friday is "merely a legislative vehicle to begin the Obamacare repeal and replace process. In other words, the spending, outlays, deficits, and publicly-held debt levels are essentially placeholders."

She said the real cutting will begin this spring.

"In March/April, Congress will work on developing a FY18 budget that will rein in the last eight years of reckless spending, and negate all the numbers from the FY17 budget resolution," she wrote in an email. "The first step in getting our deficits and debt under control is repealing Obamacare, and that is exactly what this bill starts to do."

The next few months will be interesting. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to build a wall across the southern border, rebuild the military, launch a massive infrastructure construction repair and building program and enact a huge tax cut. Not exactly a recipe for a smaller budget.

And, just two days ago, the Associated Press reported that top Republicans in Congress don't seem as concerned about the debt as they were in years past.

House Speak Paul Ryan early this week was pitching an overhaul of the tax code, not budget reduction to the Trump team.

"One of the things that we're focusing on is getting people back to work, is economic growth," Ryan told reporters Tuesday. "You can't ever balance the budget if you don't get this economy growing."

Paul Hampton: 228-896-2330, @JPaulHampton

From SCR 3

The worrisome lines of the bill

PUBLIC DEBT.—Pursuant to section 301(a)(5) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 632(a)(5)), the appropriate levels of the public debt are as follows:

Fiscal year 2017: $20,034,788,000,000.

Fiscal year 2018: $20,784,183,000,000.

Fiscal year 2019: $21,625,729,000,000.

Fiscal year 2020: $22,504,763,000,000.

Fiscal year 2021: $23,440,271,000,000.

Fiscal year 2022: $24,509,421,000,000.

Fiscal year 2023: $25,605,527,000,000.

Fiscal year 2024: $26,701,273,000,000.

Fiscal year 2025: $27,869,175,000,000.

Fiscal year 2026: $29,126,158,000,000.

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