The US Debt Crisis

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Trending stories recently have included foreign policy, airplane safety and Michael Pompeo's likelihood of becoming secretary of state. Less has been reported about the just released Congressional Budget Office report that forecasts an explosion of federal debt to levels far greater than seen in any year since the end of World War II. Yet, our elected officials seem reluctant to do anything, and the American people are mostly silent on the subject. Perhaps because the solutions are simply too unpalatable for any of us to consider. The Budget and Economic Outlook: Department of the Treasury said in its financial report of the U.

Owing to its mounting debt, the federal government is becoming fiscally unsustainable.

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Current spending is a relatively small part of the problem. It is interest on borrowing that is driving the debt into the stratosphere.


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Large deficits force the government to borrow even more, thus increasing the debt. And an increase in the debt pushes interest costs even higher in a vicious cycle. Let's assume that Congress is not about to reverse itself and raise personal or corporate income taxes. That means we must cut expenditures. Unfortunately, 78 percent of the budget is consumed by defense, veterans benefits, interest and entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare , all of which are considered, for practical and political reasons, immune from cuts.

Reductions in the remaining 22 percent of programs may make us feel thrifty but will do little to reduce annual deficits.

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For example, eliminating the entire State Department, including all the foreign aid that it dispenses, would reduce the federal budget by less than 0. That's hardly the best use of our scarce tax revenue. Unfortunately, we can't just cut these interest payments; they represent commitments to our creditors.

But a thoughtful plan to slow the growth of our rising debt can help keep interest rates down and prevent interest payments from eating up our entire budget.

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The U.S. debt is an unsolvable crisis | Politics | Dallas News

Sadly, policymakers have spent the past year doing exactly the opposite. We're addicted to debt! Trump's budget would add trillions to the deficit. Voters probably won't care.

DB Warns Of U.S. Debt Crisis

The first step is admitting we have a problem. We need a national debt audit, and members of Congress need to recognize and be held accountable for their votes. This isn't about playing the blame game, it's about recognizing that all choices have a cost. It's easy to run up charges on the national credit card, but paying it off isn't as fun. Yet failure to do so is exactly why we face the prospect of trillion-dollar deficits next year and trillion-dollar interest costs within a decade.


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Once we admit to this debt addiction, we need to stop feeding it. Washington has to start abiding by the basic principle that if something is worth having, it is worth paying for. Each and every member of Congress should make a commitment not to add more to the debt; those who are not willing to stand by such a commitment should explain to voters why they think asking our kids to pay our bills is the right thing to do.

But it's not enough to stop digging -- it's time to start tunneling our way out. That means raising new revenue to cover the cost of the tax bill by cutting tax breaks, closing loopholes, or introducing a new revenue source, a carbon tax perhaps. It also means setting realistic but responsible discretionary spending levels for the next decade, offsetting any increases with cuts elsewhere. Most importantly, we need to fix our health and retirement programs for the people who depend on them.


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  • The U.S. debt is an unsolvable crisis!

While interest is the fastest growing part of the budget , health care is the second fastest and Social Security is the third. The Medicare trust fund is projected to run out of money in seven years, Social Security Disability in five, and Social Security retirement in 12, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. We need to slow the growth of, and fully fund, these programs.

When it comes to Medicare, President Trump's budget has a number of good ideas to get more value for our dollars.