Blackburn, Bredesen tout plans to curb debt

Phil Bredesen and Marsha Blackburn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two rivals in Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate race are touting plans to curb the $21 trillion-plus national debt, with Democrat Phil Bredesen saying his idea could balance the budget within six years.

The former governor and his opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, released their plans Tuesday.

Bredesen’s campaign proposes holding spending constant at the 2018 budget year estimated level of about $3.3 trillion, not including Social Security, for which his plan makes an exception. His plan assumes a 5.15 percent annual revenue growth. He says Congress and departments would collaborate to decide how to meet the spending target.

Blackburn’s plan calls for a federal balanced budget amendment and across-the-board cuts, with an exception for military spending. Her campaign says making recent tax cuts permanent will help grow the economy.