By Corey Fry –
In 1791, Alexander Hamilton combined the states’ individual debts into one collective federal debt. This was done as a post-revolutionary war tactic to economically unify the nation.
Now in 2011, this federal debt is threatening to tear the country apart. As of October 22, 2011, the United States’ gross debt was $14.94 trillion. The public debt has increased by over $500 billion each year since 2003, and that number is rising every year.
Unless we treat this problem soon, we’re going to be on the same road to economic collapse as Greece and Italy. The only major action taken this year by the federal government to reduce the deficit was Obama’s Budget Control Act of 2011. The most significant action of the Budget Control Act was the creation of a “Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction” (aka. Super Committee). The job of the Super Committee is to manage all matters relating to the federal deficit.
The Committee, however, has made only minor changes in how the debt is handled. Their actions so far include: Raising the debt ceiling by $400 billion, and reducing excess spending by government officials. Over the next ten years, the Committee plans over $917 billion of budget cuts. But these precautions only scratch the surface of the problem.
Without major reform in how we as a country handle this, the debt will only continue to increase as it is now. We cannot simply let it grow until we need to raise the debt ceiling again. The situation is beyond the control of such temporary solutions.
We are roughly $15 trillion in debt and a couple of budget cuts aren’t going to make it go away. The United States spends much more than its gross income and this is what’s causing the deficit growth.
Our first step as a country is to stop the unnecessary spending. We can’t afford to keep spending billions more than what the government earns, it’s completely irresponsible. The nation has to cut back somewhere, or increase their income. This could mean the removal of government services, such as Social Security and unemployment benefits.
If the nation won’t accept budget slashes, than they’ll simply have to provide the government with more spending money. Tax increases are inevitable. We just can’t expect to continue getting all the government services for the same price, it isn’t working.
Something has to give. The public will decide which they prefer, before the Super Committee does it for us.