Okay folks. Let’s face it, we are progressively going broke. I can just image President Obama smoking cigarettes back to back, two at a time, stressing on how to pay off this debt.
In 2008, the federal deficit rose to 459 billion only to explode to 1.4 trillion. Over the next decade, it is estimated to rise to 16 trillion. The national debt was 9.6 trillion in 2008, increasing to the current state of 12.7 trillion, a 32 % increase, and with an estimated $62 trillion total in unfunded promises and liabilities in the forms of Medicare A, B and D, along with miscellaneous expenses, its definitely crunch time.
Now, a lot of this can be attributed to the unfunded wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and unfunded tax cuts both done by the Bush Administration, but now is not the time to focus on the problem, but more on the solutions to alleviate our economic woes. There was a segment that ran on CNN’s Your $$$ this past weekend based upon the documentary I.O.U.S.A., so lets examine some of the areas that were discussed to put us back on the right track:
- Install a true system of PayGo (Pay as you go) with responsible spending caps.
- Eventually reduce deficit spending to pre-war levels.
- Define department reforms
- Review and eliminate other ineffective programs
Social Security Reform:
- Gradually increase the retirement age (Americans are living longer since the last time that the retirement age was examined…)
- Reduce growth in benefits for the better off
- Increase payroll tax revenues
Health Care Reform (In fact, these same items were addressed in the current Health Care Reform law that was just passed)
- Reduce the rate of growth in health care
- Promote prevention and wellness
- Implement medical reforms
- Reconsider the Bush tax cuts
- Develop a national consumption tax
- Modernize the current tax system
Now this is only the beginning, but a lot of sacrifices have to be made not only the government, but also by the citizens of this great nation. One thing that can be said about Americans is that we are resilient and no matter how large the problems are, we usually overcome them, so now is not the time to cower, but to “man-up”, face our responsibilities, and to make sure that this debt is not passed onto the next generation, in the immortal words from the movie The Water Boy, “ we can do it…”