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National Debt

What We Need

  • September 11, 2008

    With the 2008 elections quickly approaching, now is the time to demand from our leaders (and those wishing to lead) new strategies that can fix the long list of things that have broken and been neglected over the past several years in our country.

    Aside from the defense of our country, the most pressing issues facing the U.S. deal primarily with financial aspects. Most daunting of these is our national debt that has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels through a combination of overspending and under taxing, and even not collecting taxes that have been due.

    Our government has quietly been increasing our nation's debt every year by raising what is called the "debt ceiling", which is the amount of money the U.S. can borrow before being in default. This is done because the government spends grotesquely more each year than it brings in in revenue (think taxes). Raising the debt ceiling allows the government to continue borrowing while not having any additional funds to pay off the debt.

    Even more infuriating is that the money that is collected through taxes mainly goes to pay off the interest on the money already borrowed, while rarely reducing the principal amount, which is akin to paying the minimum due on your credit card every month. Ask anyone who's ever done this if they owe any less today than when they started.

    A way to help reduce the debt and lower the debt ceiling would be to collect all of the taxes that are due instead of missing approximately $300 billion that is due but never collected. While this amount seems large, it quickly vanishes when one considers the U.S. spends nearly $2 billion EVERY DAY. Closing tax loopholes and eliminating unfair deductions (see our previous story) favored by many in the energy industry will also contribute greatly to the amount of income the U.S. has to operate with.

    Even with collection of unpaid taxes, what is needed most by our country is to mandate the PAYGO system of income/ spending across all levels of government wherein no more money can be spent than is brought in (similar to how a majority of actual Americans operate) and to have elected officials with more of an interest in fixing our country than getting re-elected to raise taxes as needed so that our country can continue to function.

    The fastest way to end voter apathy and get the citizenry involved is for them to have to actually pay for the what the government spends; I suspect that suddenly there would be a lot less no-bid contracts being signed and a lot fewer earmarks and other wasteful spending that Washington is infamous for, as well as more selective use of our military.

    It is time to demand that our leaders lead and make the difficult decisions to issues that threaten to leave our country buried in insurmountable debt or owned by foreign countries. By making smarter decisions about how our money is spent and ensuring that what is due is collected, the government can reduce or eliminate the national debt that would in turn reduce the average citizens' tax liability since we would no longer be paying the interest on debts made over a generation ago.

    We encourage all of our readers and supporters to demand that their elected officials pledge to ACT on their promises of fiscal responsibility and debt reduction instead of providing the same old mouth-service that has been the staple of previous leaders.


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