US National Debt

Good Essays
The US National debt approaches 20 trillion dollars, and no large measures are in place to slow its increase. Addressing the debt problem will require the American people to sacrifice either their money, or the promises that the government gave to them. The American people and their government must be responsible and address the debt problem now, before it becomes unmanageable in the future.
The history of the egregiously high national debt is fairly recent. During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Congress was on a pay-as-you-go system, meaning that Congress had to plan for how they were going to pay for every action that they took. The United States had a budget surplus, meaning that it had collected more taxes than it had spent. There are several
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However, it was out of fiscal irresponsibility that Obama inherited such a high debt. The pay-as-you-go program ended, and President Bush supported expensive programs that the Congress could not pay for. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan started, and Congress appropriated no money for it. Defense spending overall was the highest it had ever been under any presidency. The president expanded Medicare, all while lowering taxes. During his presidency the debt increased by 101 percent, going from 5.8 trillion to almost 12 trillion dollars. Therefore, when President Obama was inaugurated, he had the burden of an incredibly large debt.
President Obama, during his inauguration, talked about the concerns with the national debt. However, he was never really able to tackle them because of the economic downturn. To fix the economy, he felt he needed to stimulate it with government spending. He tried to encourage consumption by lowering taxes. Incomes overall were down because of the recession. The federal defecits were huge, and 7.9 trillion dollars were added to the debt under his
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Most politicians understand the problems of the ever-increasing debt, but actually solving it takes a lot of sacrifice. It would be nice if fiscal education could help solve this problem. Americans always ask Congress for more while paying less. With repealing the Affordable Care Act, for example, the people who are in favor of replacing it ask for more coverage at a lower cost. This ‘more for less’ attitude causes the Medicare problem where people pull out four times more money than they put into the system. As the Frontline program said, this is ‘unsustainable.’ If people were aware of the problems that they create with their wants from the government, they might be able to concede giving some of these things up. However, this might not work. Many people find it hard to give up their own benefit for future people. Because of this, it will also require Congress to favor balancing the budget over their popularity. The pay-as-you-go program seemed to work well in the 1990s, and I think implementing it again will allow Congress to be more responsible with their money. Also, some Congressmen should step up and create bills to fix the Medicare and Social Security problems that loom in the future, either by raising taxes or by shrinking coverage. Both measures would be highly unpopular, but it would be responsible to tackle the problem now, rather than push it off for future people to deal
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