Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) told a town hall Wednesday that the United States' $17 trillion debt was "irresponsible" and would lead the nation to no longer be "first-tier."
"I do believe a $17 trillion debt is irresponsible," she said. "I do believe that."
Criticizing unconstitutional government spending, she added the federal government was doing things it "was never intended to do" like purchasing municipal firetrucks.
"That’s not the way our Constitution was designed," she said. "We weren’t supposed to have the federal government paying for education. We are now doing a lot of that … I do think we have to be careful about making the federal government the answer to everything, because it’s gonna put us in a position where we’re not a first-tier nation anymore if we get swallowed up by the debt."
The speech was part of her "McCaskill on Main Street" tour in Kansas City.
"I don't think we can keep our eye completely off that ball, so some of the people who think deficits don't matter and debt doesn't matter … I don't think it's responsible to say let's go back to the old way," she said. "Because you know what the old way was? We said yes to everybody. We all want to be loved. That's why we run for office."