When it comes to the debt ceiling, Americans have the attention span of a duck. At least the media seems to think so. In January we have been subjected to many distractions.
Some issues, such as the resurgent push for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, are understandable. But this doesn’t excuse the recklessness of Congress in continuing to kick the debt-ceiling can down the road, or the willingness of people to indulge in can kicking.
Being the largest economy in the world gives us many advantages over other countries. We could just keep printing more money for a while and using our position at the top as leverage, but what happens in 20 years when we owe $100 trillion or $200 trillion? This can happen, and it would deform the world economy.
The seeds of a new Great Depression are taking root in Washington, D.C., right now. What are the solutions?
According to The New York Times, President Barack Obama and Congress have settled on a tax increase on people making over $400,000 from 36 percent to 39 percent.
It would have been better to include the original group of people earning over $200,000 a year, but asking Congress to do that is clearly beyond their infantile management abilities.
Since this particular tax debate is supposedly over, we have moved
on to potentially shutting down the government over spending. If an agreement can’t be made, you can kiss your little student aid payments, postal worker wages and veteran’s disability checks goodbye.
It’s not that I think the government shouldn’t cut anything at all. In fact, I think we should begin phasing out social security. Phase out as in “slowly get rid of”—not cutting the entire thing tomorrow. But many politicians can’t comprehend such statements anymore. It’s either action of high proportions, or no action at all.
The government is procrastinating until everything is due tomorrow.
Rather than doing nothing, we should begin to pay off 1 percent of our debt per year, showing world markets we are taking our finances seriously.
We could control inflation better, resulting in a stronger bargaining position with China, because we wouldn’t need to borrow money from them. It would also result in half solid economic growth because businesses wouldn’t be left wondering if U.S. government bonds will be worthless in 20 years.
It’s important to keep the debt in mind because the government, like it or not, is a vital component of the economy. A giant, bloated government with huge deficits is useless to people.
If you are conservative or libertarian, you probably won’t like having $70 trillion in debt 15 years from now. If you are liberal, you probably won’t like having all government aid programs shut down at once.
If an individual is in debt, he or she spends less and tries to
make more. That’s common sense. When did common sense become impossible to grasp in Washington, D.C.?