Awareness of our nation's skyrocketing national debt was brought into focus last summer as we witnessed the Congressional debate (debacle) over raising the debt ceiling from $14.2 trillion to $16.2 trillion.
In 1978, federal debt finally reached $1 trillion. It took 20 more years to reach $5.5 trillion, and only another 10 years to double to $10 trillion.
As our spending spree accelerated in 2008, the debt surged to over $15.5 trillion. This is well over 100 percent of total gross domestic product, a level which many economists believe will cripple our economy, and if not brought under control, could eventually lead to default. To date, neither the President nor any Republican candidate has clearly defined how they will reduce the debt.
A budget surplus is required to reduce the debt. FY 2011 federal expenditures totaled $3.9 trillion, over $1 trillion more than received in taxes, etc. In order to reduce the debt by only 2 percent, Congress needs a budget surplus of $300 billion, which would require a 33-percent reduction in spending to $2.6 trillion for one year. Reducing the debt will be painful and will require strong leadership, but who will provide it?
Skyrocketing national debt and the trillions of new dollars being printed each year will have the same effect on us in the near future as it is having on Europe today. More jobs will be lost, taxes will be raised, and pensions cut in an effort to bring the budget back into balance. Wall Street and the banks will continue to prosper with our bailouts. Enough is enough. Our biggest deficit is one of responsible leadership!