It is election time again! With the election next year, we are seeing a new group of presidential hopefuls in the news. These candidates are addressing the country’s issues and their plans to make improvements. Some of these issues include the economy, immigration, foreign policy, and health care. The federal budget is one of the issues that have my interest. It will be interesting to hear how the candidates will address this issue and whether they support a Balanced Budget Amendment.
The National Debt: A Growing Problem
The national debt is a growing problem. This debt is an accumulation of years where the government spent more than it received from income. At this time, the national debt is over $18 trillion dollars and it is increasing thousands of dollars every second!
According to the National Debt clock, the national debt continues to grow significantly over time:
1980: $928 billion
1990: $3.27 trillion
2000: $5.64 trillion
2004: $7.70 trillion
2008: $10.96 trillion
2012: $16.25 trillion
Today: $18.77 trillion
2019: $20.21 trillion (projected)
To me, the consequences of a growing debt of this magnitude are not exactly clear. I am not an economist, but this debt cannot be good for our country’s future. It seems that our national debt is out of control and getting worse. What is the federal government doing to address this situation??? We must deal with this issue now. We cannot keep deferring this issue to future generations.
The Consequences of the National Debt
According to Fix the Debt.org, the major problem with the national debt is the growing interest. A considerable amount of the federal budget goes toward the interest on this debt. When the national debt increases, our country has to spend more money on interest. In other words, our country has to allocate a greater percentage of the budget to interest. This decreases the funds available for many programs, including those that build our economy. It also decreases the resources available for recessions, social programs, and national security. This leaves our country more vulnerable when a crisis evolves. In addition, our national debt makes investing in our country riskier and less attractive. As a result, the interest rates that our government will pay will increase. This all adds up to a decrease in the standard of living in our country and catastrophic problems for future generations.
A Solution to the National Debt – A Balanced Budget Amendment
Fixing the National Debt is going to be a challenge considering the huge “hole” that has been created. Nevertheless, a balanced budget could get the country on the right “fiscal track” in the distant future. Policy leaders must consider what they want this country to be like two hundred years from now instead of implementing short-term solutions.
If Donald Trump wants to build a wall, he should build one that keeps irresponsible government leaders away from Washington. I realize that the balancing the budget is not as easy it seems. Some economists and government leaders may have more insight on why my assertions are wrong. However, I believe that it is time for the government to take a managerial approach to this problem. There has to be a certain steps that we can take to alleviate this problem. Even if they are small steps, they can still make a difference for the future of this country. Our government officials must realize that their job is to create measurable results that will move our country in the right direction. Their job is not an intellectual pursuit and special interest groups should not influence them.
A Balanced Budget-Eliminating Wasteful Spending
I remember a time when my Dad and I saw a government vehicle that was an expensive SUV. My Dad thought the worker could complete his job effectively with a less expensive vehicle. I am sure there are instances where the government could figure out how to do more with less. During a previous election, a candidate mentioned how he would review the nation’s budget line by line. This is a great idea. Are our country’s leaders doing this?
Sen. Tom Coburn releases a list every year that describes wasteful spending by the federal government. In 2014, the Senator claims that the government wasted $25 Billion because of tax fraud and wasteful spending (Hicks). Included in this wasteful spending are funds the government allocates to giving Swedish massages to rabbits. If there is a Balanced Budget Amendment, the government will have to find ways to eliminate wasteful spending. When there is no Balanced Budget Amendment, there is no accountability. Without accountability, government officials will not have a sense of urgency to do what is best for this country.
Balanced Budget Amendment- It Needs your Support!
I believe the only way that a Balanced Budget Amendment becomes a reality is if enough people push to get it passed. ABBA (Americans for a Balanced Budget Amendment) is an organization that is looking for people to join their cause. You can show your support for ABBA by joining their mail group. Their goal is to get the government to take notice of this growing problem and a possible solution. They will need many supporters to get them noticed.
Hicks, Josh. Washington Post. Nine Ways the government squandered your money, according to Sen. Coburn’s 2014 ‘Wastebook’. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2014/10/22/nine-ways-the-government-squandered-your-money-from-sen-coburns-2014-wastebook/
Fix the Debt Coalition Inc. Fix the Debt to Grow the Economy. http://www.fixthedebt.org/everything-about-the-debt
US Debt Clock.org www.usdebtclock.org