U.S. Sen. Jim Risch warned the Idaho Senate that the country faces collapse if the national debt is not tackled quickly.
“No government has ever survived and no economy has ever survived when the national debt hit 90 percent of GDP,” Risch said. “We will hit 90 percent in a few years.”
Risch said he was not predicting a collapse of the government because “I believe in American exceptionalism. … I think our culture’s different … Can we survive when no other country has? If Congress doesn’t change its ways we’re going to find out.”
Risch said he will not vote for the current budget proposal. He said the $3.8 trillion budget includes $1.6 trillion in deficit spending.
“My experience is that there is very, very little self-control on the part of the U.S. Congress,” said Risch, a first-term senator.
Risch said the debt threatens our way of life and our ability to react to natural disasters and humanitarian efforts and puts the country’s national security at risk.
Like last year, when he carried a copy of the massive stimulus bill with him to Boise, Risch brought a copy of the Senate health care reform bill with him.
“I defy you to take any page out of there and tell me what it says,” Risch said. “No person in American knows what would happen if this bill passed.”
Sen. Mike Crapo and Rep. Mike Simpson are scheduled to address the Idaho Legislature on Wednesday.