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Congress’ inaction on debt ‘irresponsible’ says former comptroller

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The former U.S. Comptroller General said Congress’ failure to address the federal debt burden was “irresponsible.”

David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States and a member of the Main Street Economics Advisory Board, said recent economic data should prompt lawmakers to take action before the debt problem gets worse.

Federal data showed the U.S. Gross Domestic Product grew at an annual rate of 1.6% in the first three months of the year, down from 3.4% in the previous quarter. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released the data, which came in well below expectations, raised concerns about the near future of the economy, and sent the stock market downward Thursday morning.

The slower growth came at the same time as inflation gathered steam, which could delay an interest rate cut.

Inflation has not returned to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. U.S. Department of Commerce figures showed that inflation increased by 3.4% in the first three months of the year. That is compared to an increase of 1.8% in the final three months of 2023.

Walker said the reports won’t make reducing unsustainable growth in federal debt any easier.

“Yesterday’s government reports on less than expected economic growth and higher than expected inflation, should be concerning to everyone,” he said. “When you combine these facts with large and increasing deficits, it is definitely not good news for the American people.”

Walker said voters want to see action.

“It’s time for Washington to stop the rhetoric, get to work on resolving the national debt, and show the voters some results,” he said. “Continuing inaction by Washington is irresponsible, inequitable, and immoral.”

Walker’s comments come on the heels of a stark warning from the International Monetary Fund last week. The International Monetary Fund warned the United States that government spending and increasing national debt are not sustainable and could hurt the global economy.

The Washington, D.C.-based group that represents 190 member countries also called the U.S. economy “overheated.”

“Amid mounting debt, now is the time to bring back sustainable public finances,” according to the latest IMF Fiscal Monitor report.

The debt warning follows several other high-profile calls to address growing U.S. debt.

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