PRESS RELEASE: Report Outlines Novel Method to Decrease Spending and the National Debt

Published January 18, 2024
CPI-X press release image

Heartland Institute provides blueprint to slash out-of-control federal spending while reducing national debt and paying back taxpayers

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (January 18, 2024) – In a few days, the federal government will run out of money, sparking yet another budget showdown and possible government shutdown. For the past several years, the federal government has relied on stopgap spending bills while running trillion-dollar deficits, causing the national debt to balloon to more than $34 trillion and the country’s finances to fall into further disrepair. Sooner or later, the spending madness must stop or the United States will face a very harsh economic reality.

Fortunately, there is still time to avoid a debt crisis while getting the country’s economic house back in order. However, this will require something Congress has been unwilling to do over the past few decades: cutting spending.

A new report by economist Darren Brady Nelson titled CPI-X: A Novel Method to Decrease Spending and the National Debt provides an objective and politically feasible plan to reduce spending back to 2008 levels.

Essentially, the solution would tether federal spending to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), using the CPI as a baseline, and achieving actual spending cuts via the “X” in the equation. The X-factors in CPI-X are derived from benchmarking the spending of the U.S. federal government, states, and other countries along 10 basic policy areas. The cuts would begin in 2025 and finish in 2038, at which point the national debt would be completely paid down and taxpayers would receive $19,347 in annual relief. CPI-X is a sensible solution to decades of decadent federal spending that will deliver better fiscal management, an actual medium-term fiscal framework, and a less complex budgeting process.

The following statements from experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

They say where there is a will there is a way. But when it comes to downsizing DC’s unsustainable spending, there is rarely such a will. However, there is a way, and one that should finally provide the previously missing will. That way is and will be CPI-X.

Darren Brady Nelson
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Our country just hit $34 trillion in debt, and is projected to reach $45 trillion in just three more years. Our economic death spiral will continue unabated unless Congress does something to drastically reduce its irresponsible and reckless levels of spending. Congress cannot keep kicking this can down the road.

This paper provides a revolutionary model (CPI-X) that can solve this worsening economic crisis and put the United States back on track towards fiscal prosperity, while also proposing a concrete blueprint of effective, efficient, and impartial policy recommendations to permanently re-right the fiscal ship. If Congress takes the steps outlined in this paper, which are both politically reasonable and fiscally prudent, it could not only halt our economic deterioration, but also completely eliminate the national debt, curb inflation, spur economic growth, and reduce taxes. What are our representatives waiting for?

Jack McPherrin
Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

In recent years, the federal budget has grown by leaps and bounds with little to show for it other than a mountain of new debt and annual deficits that will surpass $1 trillion annually for years to come. This is not only unsustainable and reckless, but immoral generational theft.

With every year, month, week, and day that passes, the situation gets worse. It is imperative that Congress reverse this concerning trend as soon as possible. First and foremost, Congress must reduce government spending, which has more than doubled from approximately $3 trillion in 2008 to more than $6 trillion today. We cannot afford mere reductions in the trajectory of spending; we need actual cuts. Second, Congress must use the savings to pay down the $34 trillion national debt while providing annual relief to taxpayers. If Congress follows the guidelines provided in CPI-X, we can avoid a debt bomb, ensure that the dollar remains the world’s reserve currency, spark a new era of economic growth and prosperity, and most importantly, not burden future generations with a debt-laden nation in the economic doldrums.

Chris Talgo
Editorial Director and Socialism Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]