Statement on Proposed National Debt Retirement Legislation

September 22, 1982

Today I am submitting to Congress the ``National Debt Retirement Act of 1982.'' When enacted, this law will place in the Treasury proceeds from the sales of surplus Federal real property for use solely to retire the national debt.

Federal lands are a tremendous, often unrecognized, capital asset of this country. In Executive Order 12348 I established a Property Review Board to improve the management of Federal real property and to accelerate the sale of unneeded property. The revenue from the sales should be directly applied to help reduce the burdens on our nation's taxpayers and not be used for more spending.

Although the congressional calendar is crowded, I believe that the Congress shares my concern that the continued growth of our national debt can have a crippling effect on our economy. This is a problem that can be solved in part by the bill I am submitting today. The sales of surplus property cannot alone retire the debt; however, it demonstrates our commitment and is an all-important first step.