Essay by:
Ashley Vaughn
Emporia State University

            Currently, the United States has 10 trillion dollars of debt stacked up, which should not be surprising news to anyone considering the crisis Americans now find themselves in.  On top of this ever increasing total, the Unites States has an additional 42 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities.  This means that at any given moment, if everyone in the world decided to get all of there money back and out of the banks; the United States would have 52 trillion dollars that is no where to be found.  Hopefully everyone agrees that this is a problem that needs to be resolved quickly and efficiently, which is why a twelve step program just might be what the United States needs.

            The first step is admitting that the Unites States has a problem and accept that we are in fact in a recession.  Some people are still choosing to be naïve, or simply do not understand how bad the problem is, and continue to follow the same path that has brought us to this point.  After the government and the country as a whole can agree that something needs to be done, changes can be done.

            The second step is that, unfortunately, taxes need to be raised.  This does not have to be a dramatic increase, but just enough to keep there from being a deficit so that the debt does not continue to increase.  Once we achieve a balance of budget to income, taxes can increase just slightly more to put a small dent in what is owed.

            Next, troops need to be taken out of other countries.  The current war is creating a massive whole for our entire budget to fall into, and it needs to stop.  Whether a person is for or against the war, it does not matter; this is not a question of right or wrong, but simply a necessary step to solving our problem.

            The fourth step is to raise the retirement age so that Social Security can have more time to recover.  This would also help to increase the age at which people need Medicare.  If Social Security is accessed later in life, fewer people at one time will need the money, including the Baby Boomers.

            Another, very important, step is to create programs for people that already have mass amounts of personal debt.  When people learn more about finances they are able to understand smart spending and therefore they will also save more.  Saving me and spending less will in turn mean less people needing to borrow money that they are not capable of paying back.

            The sixth step should be to concentrate more on spending money domestically rather than always importing.  Greater spending within our own country will help our economy, and could possibly create more jobs which will lead to the seventh step which is lowering the unemployment rate.  If less people our out of work, then less people will need to borrow or rely on government money to live.

            The next step also has to do with unemployment, which is decreasing the amount of people that rely on Medicaid.  This could be done by having a more detailed set of requirements for eligibility, focusing on the most extreme needs.  There could also be Medicaid used for specific conditions and go on a case by case basis, to slightly decrease the dependency.

            The ninth step is to decrease government spending on certain programs.  This is an unfortunate step because it could mean less money for school programs, such as after school care or art and music.  Hopefully, rather than completely cut the programs, the budget could be rearranged so that there is still money to start with, but then schools would simply need to fundraise for the programs they choose to spend less money on. 

            The saying that “you need to spend money to make money” is actually very true.  The next two steps include investing more in stocks and focusing on the bailout.  By investing there is more money in the stock market which is a leader in economic problems, and by focusing on the bailout we can save companies that provide millions of jobs. 

            Lastly, step twelve, is to save, save, save.  Everyone needs to save more money in the long run, companies and individuals alike.  This will take pressure off of social security, and other government programs, so that people do not rely solely on government money after they retire. 

            Hopefully if these twelve steps are followed, the national debt will slowly become a smaller obstacle for the United States to overcome.  No matter how this tremendous problem is resolved, it will be a slow and ever-changing process that will take the entire country to fix.  How will you do your part?



Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

Hey Ashley!

I was very shocked when i read your essay because i never thought making of a 12 step process to resolving our national debt. I feel that your 12 steps could help very much if they were looked at and actually taken into perspective.

Awesome Job!

Whitney Franklin

Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

Although this is great in detail mabe add comments to possible contradictions. For example cut or lower money given to schools for after school care -this could lead to higher unemployment due to parents needing to stay home. I have worked in a school(elementary where kintergardeners go home and wait on the porch alone for caregivers to get home if there is no after school care given so mabe adressing those issues-including being exposed to violence no dinner ect. You probaly dont have kids but think of a parents point of view.Medicaid barely pays doctors wich is why more tend not to accept it mabe adress this or more research to back up claims, these elderly are dying or actually getting sicker because of medicaid restrictions- which could also affect extending retirement age if they are too sick or have disabilities they cant work. Always look at views from these other age groups as non bias as possible, it will make for a stronger arguement.

Angela Cooper

Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

I never thought of a 12 step plan for a solution to our debt. I do think this is an awesome idea, and the government should look into that. the only thing I completely disagree on is cutting school programs. This is not okay, our kids should not suffer because we were stupid. other than that your paper was a really good idea!! great job.

Kelsey C.

Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

Very unique essay. Putting the steps helped me understand what you were trying to say and it seems that it would help other readers to better understand your points. Good job.

Taylor Northup

Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

I loved the fact that you suggest the 12 steps that can be taken to get our nation out of this economic crisis. I think that if people take one by one steps to correcting these problems, the task may not seem as monumental as most think. Great Job!!!
-Brandon Rich

Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

Wow Ashley!!! Your essay is amazing! It shows that you have really thought about what the government and the people can do to help the economy. Good Job! I really enjoyed reading your piece.

Drake F.
Emporia State University

Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

Ashley: I like your essay and I have enjoyed it and especially those 12 steps that you wrote about Maybe they will take a hint and it will work out in the long run.

Maria Garcia

Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

Great Job! Your title really caught my eye. I liked how you seperated each of your ideas into steps. it made your essay enjoyable and easy to read.

Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

Ashley- I liked that you came up with solutions to the problem and not just commented on them. I don't agree with all of your ideas but think the 12 step program is something that will definitely help our country out. Good Ideas.

Re: 12 Steps to Resolving the National Debt

Very informative!! I like your ideas, the 12 step plan sounds like a good idea, it seems effective!!

Whitney Cates

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