As the National Debt has recently soared past $14.3 trillion, it now seems that some in America are beginning to show a hint of concern while others still appear to have little interest in the matter. The debate is raging about taking concrete steps to reduce this debt as we face yet another increase in the debt ceiling, and as usual the opposing sides are digging in. One side believes we should raise the debt ceiling and continue the same spending that has brought us to our current condition while the other side asserts that it is time to reverse course. These types of battles continue to fall along partisan lines thus making you wonder if anyone in Washington D.C. really cares about the debt at all, or is it just another opportunity to game the citizens to stay in power. The reality is that politicians are only going to care about what gets them elected and subsequently reelected thus the burden falls upon the people to care enough to want a real solution. My contention is that there are not enough Americans that realize that the National Debt is a concern for all of us; instead it is viewed as some abstract concept that is someone else’s problem. It is not seen as being real or tangible to the public at large thereby explaining the lack of concern or indifference toward it. This is very harmful to our national interest because if the nation does not view this as a problem then there is nothing to stop politicians from endlessly expanding it to buy political favor until the financial damage becomes irreversible.
The best way to resolve this disparity of opinion concerning the National Debt is to amplify the public’s interest regarding the amount of debt currently held as well as any additional future increases. This process must make the debt tangible and concrete in the overall public’s mind to make it an effective control mechanism politically hence no politician will ever consider further expansion as smart policy. Here is how it can be done. Zero out the entire $14.3 trillion National Debt and send a bill to each and every citizen in our nation for their respective share of that debt. That would equate to approximately $46,000 for every man, woman, and child in America today, so a typical family of four would receive a consolidated billing of $184,000 as an example. In reality, this is exactly what already exists in America today, all that would change is the actual allocation of the current National Debt and the obligation of its payment. Once this is accomplished, we can be confident that any continued fiscal irresponsibility going forward will be severely diminished as everyone in America will suddenly become focused on it. Make it painfully real to the public and their expressed rage will make it painfully real to the politicians. Problem solved.