The United States is suffering a period of economic crisis -- but we still are the greatest nation in history. As such, we should face our challenges with good judgment if we hope to maintain that greatness.
It is certainly not proof of good judgment, however, that our political leaders -- the president and many in Congress -- have afflicted the American people with the biggest budget deficit in U.S. history!
Our national debt is more than $14 trillion. But we are headed toward adding a record $1.5 trillion to it this year because of out-of-control federal spending. In January alone, the deficit grew by $50 billion! And this will be the third consecutive year that annual U.S. budget deficits have exceeded $1 trillion.
Throughout much of the economic crisis, unemployment has remained painfully high -- between 9 percent and 10 percent -- sharply reducing tax collections. If we as individuals find our income reduced, the sensible thing to do is reduce our spending -- and certainly reduce our unnecessary spending. That's what our federal officials should do, too, as the country faces reduced tax collections. But unfortunately, those in control of our federal government keep spending far too much.
There are, of course, many things that the federal government should and must do under the Constitution. National defense is the most obvious example. But Washington spends a great deal of money on many things that would be unwise even in times of great prosperity -- and surely are unwise in a time of distress. Those include everything from farm subsidies to ObamaCare.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to unveil his proposed 2012 budget Monday. Realistically, he cannot be expected to offer a balanced budget. But he also seems unlikely to propose major reductions in spending to even begin shrinking the huge deficits of recent years.
The ultimate responsibility for spending, whatever the president proposes, rests with Congress. It is hard to face financial responsibilities. But this is a time for members of Congress to rise to the challenge and reduce the red ink that is drowning our economy and adding to our crippling debt.