Our national debt has hit an all time high at $ 14.3 trillion, an amount that can no longer be ignored. Every year, Congress spends more money than they money brought in as income, which leads to a deficit in our national budget. To cover expenses and the spending habits of Congress, money is borrowed and the total national debt is increased. To make matters worse, as the national debt increases the interest on the borrowed money begins adding to the total debt balance, pushing the nation further into financial hardship.
Each day, members of different political parties are lining up to fight for their proposed plan to manage the national debt. Republicans blame overspending on social programs such as Medicare and Social Security, while Democrats believe that under-taxation is to blame for the nation's financial woes. It's clear that Republicans and Democrats don't agree on the best long-term strategy for alleviating the national debt, but members of both parties are apprehensive about raising the debt ceiling. Despite clear party lines, problems with taxation and federal spending are issues both sides are working to resolve. The economy will suffer greatly if no agreement can be reached about how to increase the federal income and how to balance the federal budget. Continuing on the current financial path is not an option that either political party is considering.
Can we fix it?
Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you stand on, some of the proposed ideas could leave all Americans paying for more and getting less in return. The idea of a National Sales Tax, has people of all income brackets fuming. The economy is fueled by consumer spending, so how would a "tax on consumption" be beneficial? The national debt may reduce slightly, over long periods of time, but consumer spending would slow and the number of people who need to receive government assistance for essential items may increase as a result. This idea appears to be a double-edged sword. Along the same lines, eliminating or capping deductions for donations to charities may backfire and result in fewer contributions and an increased need for funding from the government. Reducing benefits for veterans or Social Security benefits may appear as viable options, but how will our respected elders pay for essential living items, and possibly the added national sales tax, when they earn so little each month?
The national debt is a government problem, brought about by years of inadequate budgeting and overspending. It is unreasonable to assume that the debt crisis can be fixed by imposing more restrictions and additional requirements to the citizens of America. It is also unlikely that without such measures, our national debt will be reduced to a manageable state. The compromise may be found in some realistic cut-backs and sensible added requirements we, as a nation, can overcome this financial collapse into debt.