Ayotte paints bleak fiscal picture at Town Hall meeting
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte chatted with Hudson Police Department staff during a Town Hall meeting at Hudson Memorial School Thursday. About 100 people attended the meeting. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)
“We’re in full support of our senator,” sign-holder Jack Wagner said.
Both men agreed to disagree.
“I think both of us can agree on one thing,” Wagner said. “New Hampshire is a great place to live and we want it to stay that way.”
“This is one milestone we never wanted to meet,” she said, noting that in the current fiscal year alone there’s an anticipated budget deficit of $759 billion.
“Our labor force participation rate is at its lowest since 1978,” she said. “We still have 21.5 million Americans that are either unemployed or underemployed right now.”
“If we stay on the path we’re headed, our debt will reach $25 trillion in the next decade,” she warned.
“In Washington, we’ve done a very good job at kicking the can down the road,” she said.
Currently, just over 60 percent of the government’s spending is on mandatory programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
The remaining expenditures, she noted, are “discretionary” or so-called “social safety net” programs.
By comparison, just over 32 percent of the nation’s budget was spent on “autopilot” programs in fiscal year 1963, Ayotte said.
Ayotte said that if nothing changes, Medicare would be insolvent by 2026, while Social Security would be insolvent by 2033.
Nashua resident Kathy Peterson said she feared the debt would filter down to future generations.
“We have 11 million people that are in this country illegally,” Ayotte said. “ We need a legal immigration, a merit-based one, that works better for us.”
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