Our $1 trillion-plus deficits

Our $1 trillion-plus deficits

June 14th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

The American people often blame our presidents and members of Congress for recklessly spending too much money. But aren't we citizens and taxpayers the ones who have allowed that by electing big spenders to office?

Now, once again, the consequences of our carelessness at the ballot box are appearing.

Do you realize that our country is headed toward adding well over $1 trillion in debt for just this year?

The federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30. By then, our one-year deficit could well exceed $1.4 trillion - the amount we're spending beyond what current tax rates bring in.

Do we and our elected lawmakers honestly believe that the current national debt of $14.3 trillion is somehow too small? Do we relish the thought of massive taxes - in the hundreds of billions of dollars - just to pay the interest on that debt for a single year?

How can we possibly imagine that we are demonstrating careful stewardship when we keep adding to our debt this way?

Unfortunately, this spending is becoming more and more common. This is going to be the third consecutive year that we will have trillion-dollar deficits added to our national debt. In fact, in 2010, our federal debt represented more than 94 percent of everything our country produced that year!

Is anything about that outrageous level of federal spending remotely responsible or justifiable? While we are engaged in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and, now, Libya, we are certainly not in a global conflict on the order of World War II, which understandably required great amounts of spending.

No, we are in extreme debt because of wasteful spending on things our nation doesn't need, and because of our unwillingness to reform spending on entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security, which are going broke.

And yet nothing seems to change Washington's ways. As we noted, by Sept. 30, an additional $1 trillion-plus will have been added to our crippling national debt.

Doesn't that indicate that we are allowing - or even encouraging - too much spending by Congress and the president?

It's painful to face these alarming realities. But it will be much more painful, and detrimental to the economy for all of us, to let this go on and on.

Balanced budgets are possible, but not if we continue on the current path. It is long past time to stop Washington's wild spending.