McCarthy: National debt 'greatest threat to our future'

"When debt is too high, inflation is the result. That’s where we are today," McCarthy said.
Kevin McCarthy, Feb. 6, 2023, Washington, D.C.
Kevin McCarthy, Feb. 6, 2023, Washington, D.C.
Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that of all the major problems facing the United States, the national debt is "the greatest threat to our future," and the issue is only getting worse.

In a speech one day before President Biden’s State of the Union address, McCarthy on Monday called for a responsible solution to the $31.38 trillion debt ceiling, which the U.S. government hit last month.

"I worry about a future that feels less secure than it should," said McCarthy, a California Republican.

Under President Joe Biden, illegal migration has skyrocketed, most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and China is infiltrating the U.S., McCarthy said.

"This is not sustainable," he continued. "But of all the dangers we face, the greatest threat to our future is our national debt." 

The U.S. debt burden is higher than it has been since World War II, McCarthy said. He warned that if the country continues borrow, it will spend $8 trillion on interest alone over the next 10 years.

"When debt is too high, inflation is the result," he also said. "That’s where we are today."

He blamed Democrats for increased spending and said, "In 2021, Democrats passed the largest debt limit increase in American history. Then, they maxed out our nation’s credit card again just 13 months later."

McCarthy met with Biden last week to discuss a potential deal to raise the debt limit, but they did not reach an agreement.

“Now, President Biden wants Congress to raise the debt limit yet again without a single, sensible change to how government spends your hard-earned money. None. Does that sound responsible to you?" McCarthy said Monday.

McCarthy pledged that cuts to Medicare and Social Security would not happen and that defaulting on debt is not an option and he called on Biden to negotiate a debt ceiling increase.