(NASHVILLE, TN) — Tennessee Senate Finance Chairman Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) said today he is increasingly concerned about the direction Washington is taking regarding the nation’s finances and the negative impact it has on the future of the state. McNally said that by the end of 2012, the total federal debt is projected to be approximately 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Besides the normal alarm from being a U.S. citizen, there is a huge concern we have from the state’s side,” said Chairman McNally. “States like Tennessee which utilize a balanced budget approach have been prudent in our financial practices, even though we are often held hostage to mandates from Washington. It is very alarming to see the numbers on where we are nationally and what that indebtedness means to the safety and security of our children and grandchildren. It has a tremendous effect on our future as a state.”
McNally, who recently talked with U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander regarding federal government spending, said in 2010 the U.S. government borrowed about 40 cents of every dollar spent. However, despite the gloomy outlook, in 2010 the federal government raised the deficit by $1.5 trillion.
“As a former governor, Senator Alexander understands the critical impact this has on our state’s finances and I feel very assured that our local Tennessee delegation in Washington are doing everything they can to reduce the debt and to help turn around this economy,” added McNally. “To continue to add debt of this magnitude, when we were already over $14 trillion in debt is adding fuel to the federal financial fire.”
McNally said he is very concerned that forty-seven percent of Americans currently pay no income tax. The top ten percent of all wage earners in America pay about 70 percent of all taxes, while the top one percent pays 38 percent of taxes.
“The problem isn’t that people don’t pay enough taxes. The problem is that the government spends too much and that there are too many people in the cart and not enough pulling it.” McNally continued. “We have too many people receiving benefits without paying into the system.”
“Washington cannot kick the can down the road and force our children and grandchildren to deal with it. It is also alarming to see the disincentive we have put into place through our tax codes for our young people to do well without fear the government is going to take their earnings. As our country moves forward to addressing the deficit, we don’t need additional taxes. As we have entered the new fiscal year in Tennessee, our state along with states across this nation, look to Washington to get their priorities in order to begin to address the very serious problems we face with federal spending.”