In our current budget year (FY10), the United States is borrowing 43 cents of every dollar we spend. I am going to shoot a bunch of numbers out there to put things into perspective and then discuss our options. Tax revenues in the United States generate 2.5 Trillion dollars per year. That seems like a sizable amount of money. Yet we seem incapable of budgeting to that amount of income and have decided to spend 4.5 Trillion dollars this year. That leaves a 2 Trillion dollar deficit that must be borrowed from somewhere. Are you kidding me? A 2 Trillion dollar deficit? How can be possibly be spending that much money? The current spending brings our total debt over 12 Trillion dollars. If we spend every dime of tax income on the debt, it would take us five years to pay off the debt. That's ridiculous.
If we were to balance the budget and squeeze out 250 Billion in surplus to pay down the debt (in other words, cut our spending precisely in half...yeah, right) it would take nearly a full century to pay off the debt. A century...as in ONE HUNDRED YEARS. and that is cutting our spending in half! Nobody wants to feel that kind of pain. But we have to start somewhere. How did we get so addicted to this kind of spending? Well...it started during the Reagan years. I remember Reagan telling Congress that he would raise taxes if they would cut spending two dollars for every dollars in new taxes. Congress reneged and began their addiction with phenomenal debt. In 1981, our debt passed 100 Billion. Since that time it has skyrocketed to the current 12 Trillion dollar mess we find ourselves in.
America needs a sound fiscal policy to turn this thing around. Unfortunately, no Congressman wants the cuts to come from his/her District. It is shameful. Our founding fathers are probably rolling over in their graves. America needs to cut and put every sacred cow on the altar of sacrifice. What do I mean by sacred cow? I mean even the things that are important to me. Do I really need to write my mortgage off on my taxes? Of course I do...but we can start with that personal sacrifice on my own part.
I am a veteran and am big on defense. But there is room for some cutting there, too. Not so much for the men and women who serve as much as the pet projects that Congressmen refuse to kill. It seems that even when the Pentagon says they no longer want a multi-Billion dollar airplane or tank, some Congressman intervenes and keeps the pork flowing to his District...even when operational needs dictate otherwise. Defense spending can be cut easily and might come down even more once we are finished addressing the two wars we are fighting. I believe that we need to keep our military in place until the job is finished in both places.
Education....how much money could we save if we privatized the education system? I don't know but I bet it would be a lot. The voucher programs have worked beyond imagination. Obama killed the DC program which parents scrambled for....and then sent his own kids to a private school. It must be nice to be able to have an agenda and still afford to live your own lifestyle. Private education is at least as good as public education but gets done at a much cheaper cost. Maybe because there are less beareaucrats? It is an area that needs to be examined.
Entitlements. I have been railing on out-of-control entitlement spending for some time. It seems to me that we have decided that everything qualifies as an entitlement. Even internet access and cell phones. How about paying all of our bills first, paying off the debt and then seeing if there is enough money left to pay for cell phones. It is like I told my own children...you don't NEED a cell phone...if the budget doesn't allow for one, you don't get one.
Health care...well that one is going to make this entire article a pipe-dream. When the bill finally comes due, it will likely crash our economy. You think the US is too big to fail? Come back and read this ten years from now. If things are peachy keen, feel free to lambaste me with attacks. The problem is....with two trillion dollar deficits, things cannot be peachy keen in ten years. I may not be good at lots of things, but I can do basic math. Adding 2 Trillion ten times to 12 Trillion equals 32 Trillion. Fifteen times more than our annual national "income."
Immigration. I am one hundred percent FOR immigration. The legal kind. It seems obvious from the amount of ILLEGAL immigrants in the United States that our demand is greater than the supply. So we need to fix our Immigration Policy to make work Visas easier to obtain. We also need to enforce our existing laws and send the lawbreakers to the back of the line. Maybe the demand for "undocumented workers" is as high as it is because businesses are able to exploit them. They under-report crimes and have higher crime rates than the legal population. All of those issues should be major sources for concern and should shed some light on the tax burden created by illegal immigration on social services, health care and the judicial system. Furthermore, I would contend that a good many of the unemployed (10 Percent) Americans would be willing to take a number of the jobs currently held by illegal workers. They aren't just cooking and cleaning any more...they are heavily in building trades.
If we do not correct the course we are on, the dollar will fail. If anyone wants to challenge that notion...challenge away. But while you are at it, explain HOW we can save the dollar, pay the debt and maintain a stable economy without sacrificing any of the "sacred cows." It is time for some serious introspection and some tough decisions by our leaders. Most of the elected officials in Congress either lack the Moral Courage to do the right thing or they are in denial about the state of our economy. Either way...without the right leadership, trouble ahead is inevitable. Expect to see double-digit inflation within the next year and possibly 100 percent inflation in the coming years (depending on how quickly we stem the tide of spending). We already print 15 percent more money, which will have an affect on the value of the dollar in the short term...are we going to try and print more money and spend our way out? The only way to increase wealth is through production. Without the creation of major industries within the United States that generate tremendous wealth, our economy will continue sagging under the weight of spending, printing money, debt and irresponsible monetary shell games.