The mere fact that the United States has such a large National Debt should be a point of shame for all citizens of this nation. We should be embarrassed that we have chosen to live beyond our means for decades with hardly any effort to curb this behavior. To put it simply, this amassed debt is the result of previously purchased lifestyle that still remains unpaid. We continue to believe decade after decade that we are entitled to more than we produce, thus expecting the excess to be paid at a later date, or worse yet, directly defaulting on that obligation or essentially defaulting by printing more money. Politicians facilitate this mindset by kicking the can down the road because the solution is certain to be painful, and that does not bring good results at the polls. There is endless debate and bickering about how this should be solved and who should bear the brunt of the needed sacrifice. The President has even assembled a Debt Commission to debate possible solutions to this issue, but unfortunately it will prove to be nothing more than a ruse because its findings will be the expected litany of political posturing and ideological arguments. At its conclusion, nothing more will be known than what is already known, and the truth that there is only one possible solution will still be obscured. This only leaves the question of how long it will take for Americans to realize that the easy answers are long gone.
One of the favorite proposals advocated is that we need to raise taxes on the wealthy because they can most afford it, and the belief is fostered that they do not pay their fair share of the tax burden. It is amazing how in actuality that the top ten percent of income earners pay the overwhelming majority of all federal taxes paid as widely publicized by the IRS, however this is very inconvenient when it comes to political posturing. This proposal of taxing the wealthy as a solution is deceitful at best because it still would not be sufficient even if they are taxed at 100 percent, but obviously playing this class warfare makes good politics. Simply raising taxes on this group will not adequately raise the necessary revenue needed, only broadening the base of those paying taxes can possibly begin to make this a legitimate option, but any suggestion of that will surely not improve election results. Besides, just how much tax from any dollar earned will Americans presume to be a fair share, is there a limit?
Another favorite proposal supported is that we will just grow our way out of the debt problem. We are doing nothing but fooling ourselves believing this nonsense. We have had many years of strong growth over the last several decades and we have barely even attempted to reduce the debt, instead we continued to run it up overall. The truth is that when times are good we simply spend more and very little attention is given to debt reduction. Our history has shown the propensity to continuously accumulate debt versus restraining our standard of living, and those entitled habits will die very hard. Additionally, common sense dictates that growing our way out of the debt will require huge leadership positions in the industries of the future thereby creating wealth. This becomes difficult to imagine since other nations have recently emerged both economically and technologically, and they are not likely to sit on the sideline while we dominate industries as we have in the past.
That leaves the only certain alternative to effectively reducing the National Debt without defaulting. It is the one choice that nobody wants to acknowledge because it is the most unpleasant one. We must concede that Government spending has to decrease so we can make headway on debt repayment. This is the only logical choice available that will prove effective, it must be the centerpiece of any credible policy. Some blending of the other options may be incorporated, but any policy not materially reducing our Government and its spending is pointless. Our nation has been recklessly accumulating debt for decades, and the time has come to live within our means based on what we produce. Anything short of recognizing this truth is simply ignoring the evident until such time that it becomes painfully forced upon us by creditor nations. We continue down this same perilous path knowing instinctively that something is incredibly wrong, and choosing to believe the propaganda as opposed to embracing this obvious reality becomes nothing more than deception and delay. Hopefully, we all arrive at this conclusion soon so we can move forward on what must be done before the suffering it creates becomes catastrophic.