It’s Time to Care About The National Debt

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As I sit down to write this column, the current National Debt of the United States stands at over $27 trillion. By the time this column is finally finished, edited, and published, the deficit will have grown by millions if not billions. 

Who cares though? 

If you were to walk down your average main street or even around Mercy’s Dobbs Ferry campus, it would be hard to find anyone who is legitimately concerned about the rapidly growing deficit. 

You can’t blame them either. 

In our day to day lives, you would see no personal impact of a nation that, despite it’s growing deficit, is currently spending officially $6.6 trillion, according to usdebtclock.org. Even if you were to listen to most congressmen and women we’ve elected, they are focused on a dozen different issues before they even hinted at the deficit. 

In COVID-times, we are faced with extreme challenges financially due to the government imposed lockdowns and other safety measures. In an attempt to provide relief to these businesses currently struggling, President Joe Biden unveiled his $1.9 trillion spending plan to fight COVID and the economic recovery. 

That would be in addition to the amount that the federal government is already spending. It’s time to look at this with basic logic so we don’t overthink it. 

If you are $27 in debt, $20 you owe to your parents, and $7 to friends. This means if you make $10, you should pay back the $7 first and start paying back the $20 to your parents until you no longer owe money. That is when you can spend money again. 

Now imagine your nation is the greatest superpower in the history of the world and you owe $7 trillion to foreign countries and $20 trillion domestically. To truly understand the numbers involved, it’s important to see them written out.

We owe in some way or another over $27,000,000,000,000. This means if you were to make $1 billion a year in profit and put it directly towards the deficit. It would only take 27,000 years to pay the entire amount off as it stands right now. 

Of course, this is assuming we live in a world that instantly stops collecting interest, spending, and all other items which all leads to the ever-increasing deficit. 

I mean, since you read the first sentence of this article, the deficit has increased by over $104 billion and that is just while I’m writing. Who knows what it will be when you are actually reading. 

So what do we do? 

The previous administration’s secretary of the treasury, Steven Mnuchin, said this past September that now is not the time to be thinking about the deficit. These are tough times after all; we can deal with the deficit later. 

No. We must act now and we need to do something immediately. The federal government can not afford to hand out any more stimulus checks. The situation is already out of hand. Making it worse will only destroy future generations when one of them finally gets the courage to do the right thing. 

It will not be easy. Entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and many more which represent the largest budget items will all need to be massively slashed if not eliminated. States will have to step up and play a bigger role in assisting people once they themselves are out of debt. 

We need to end wasteful spending in all areas of government from the local level all the way up to the federal level. 

We need to stop sending money overseas to nations that aren’t even our friends or are only our friends as long as we keep sending them items like $10 gender studies programs. Shoutout Pakistan. It’s hidden on page 1486 of the spending bill passed this past December. 

Don’t get me wrong, items such as that in a spending bill may serve a wonderful purpose assuming they are used for the right reasons, but why should American taxpayers be paying it when we can’t even pay back our own debt?

We can’t spend money we don’t have. It’s simple. This isn’t how it should be but it is where we are, so we have to handle it. 

Do I believe it will ever happen? No. 

Special Interest groups and other lobbyists control Congress and have their own special agenda to attach to the next budget deal which will probably still be negotiated the night before the government is supposed to shut down due to a lack of funds. 

This isn’t how it’s supposed to be and we need to do something about this. Our founders would be embarrassed by it. God willing, one day we will elect representatives that actually want to tackle the real issue of today. 

By the way, since the last update in this column, the nation added another $81 billion to the deficit. It’s currently at $27,825,545,000,000 as of the conclusion of this column. Take a look at what it is right now https://www.usdebtclock.org/#