Sen. Tillis: Yes, Government Spends Too Much, ‘You’ve Got to Cut Programs’

Cody Leach | July 11, 2019 | 12:17pm EDT
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Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

( – Although Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said the federal government spends too much money, he did not say which federal department or agency he would eliminate. However, he stressed that some federal operations could be handled at the state level and that it is necessary to “cut programs” to reduce spending.

At the U.S. Capitol on July 9, asked the senator, “The federal government spent $4.1 trillion in fiscal 2018 and ran a deficit of $779 billion dollars. Does the government spend too much money?”

Senator Tillis answered, “yes,” and then asked him,  “What federal department or agency would you eliminate?”

Senator Tillis replied, “I think that you have to look across the board. You look at these agencies that didn’t even exist when I was your age, wonder whether or not they ever needed to exist, and if they’re performing a function, is it a function we could actually rely on [in] the states? And move away from concentrating power in Washington.”

“You have to rethink all of that,” said Tillis.  “If you’re going to drive that spending down, then you have to ask questions about spending that’s on autopilot.”

“Eighty percent of all the money that we spend in that $4 trillion [budget] is not something subject to the discretion of Congress,” he said. “I think that that’s wrong.”

“And so, to really bend the curve on spending you’ve got to cut programs, make them more efficient,” said the senator. “It can be done in a way that will not break the promise to the people that rely on it. Medicare, Social Security, they just have to be done in a more fiscally sustainable way.”

National Debt by Fiscal Year. (U.S. Treasury Department.)

As of July 9, 2019,  the U.S. National Debt was $22.02 trillion. Ten years ago, at the end of the fiscal year – Sept. 30, 2009 -- the national debt was $11.9 trillion. At the end of fiscal year 200, the national debt was $5.6 trillion.

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