Monday, March 30, 2009

National debt needs viable solution

Melanie Thomas

America, let’s be serious.

It’s not the war in Iraq, party discrepancies, or ideology that is our biggest threat.

In recent months the economy has been the sharpest pain that the United States has been enduring. It’s hard to fathom that in order for us to balance our national budget we would need $53 trillion.

The documentary I.O.U.S.A, recently screened on campus, outlined what is contributing to this economic mess. Certainly, there seems to be no easy solution to eliminate the debt.

Annually, the national budget increases by two to three trillion dollars. The U.S. government continues to borrow money from various countries that it will never be able to pay back in order to cover expenses.

But the reality is clear: ultimately the countries we owe debt to may one day have a ruling voice in U.S. policy.

Within less than ten years, an unequal balance between individuals receiving social security and those paying into it will begin. We won’t be able to take care of the people who took care of us.

According to I.O.U.S.A, “In 2008, the United States spent $610 billion on Social Security benefits, $330 billion on Medicare, and $204 billion on Medicaid.”
A step in the right direction for solving the budget deficit would be to tighten up guidelines for those who qualify for Social Security. I believe that Social Security requirements need to be reviewed and revised.

Only people with legitimate health concerns and issues should qualify for benefits.
If we could reform Social Security successfully, our deficit could be reduced by up to $7 trillion.

Another major factor pertaining to the nation’s debt is our inability to save. Many individuals simply do not live within their own means and saving money has become a practice of the past.

Everyone wants to live comfortably and the leaders in this country have a tendency to make us believe that this is realistic.

What they fail to tell us is the truth. We shouldn’t be lied to anymore. Fiscal irresponsibility shouldn’t be allowed.

The country also needs to change its trading habits. This country has a tendency to consume or import more than it produces or exports. Living with excess is not only bad for the economy but causing an even bigger environmental problem.

Everything that affects the economy can be connected to other serious problems that we face. It’s way past time for our country reign things in and not be foolish. One president is not the solution for this disaster. We need so much more reform.

We literally went from a balanced budget with President Clinton to an $8.7 trillion deficit.

As Americans we need to make sure that we are voting for those truly interested in the betterment of this nation and not let those who have been dishonest in the past get their hands on spending our dollars or lie to us about the severity of the problem.

Even if we ended the war in Iraq, earmarks and pork barrel spending were eliminated, and Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire, we would still not be able to solve the national debt.

The mess that America has created will not be solved easily. We must travel a long path filled with bumps and obstacles in order to maintain our status. If our national debt is not addressed in the near future, we will fail as a nation.

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