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The Future of the United States Budget
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By ksonberg on April 25th, 2008
Prior to this discussion in class, I was extremely uneducated about the national debt situation. As much as I realize it is important to be knowledgeable in the debt crisis, as well as other national government problems, I felt overwhelmed by the subject. Because I have no economic or government background, I have never even had the basics explained to me. Therefore, when it came to discussing some of the issues that are facing national policymakers today, I was surprised at how quick I could catch on to some of the problems and gain a basic understanding of them. Obviously there is a lot more to these issues than the basic summaries and alternate option plans that we received in class, but I believe that these are a good start. I think it is important to raise awareness and educate more people on the debt crisis so that we can do something about it.
This was an issue that came up in many of the class discussions. This was the question of how come nothing has been done before this when it seems that this crisis has been building all along. I feel like this is something that should have been addressed twenty years ago when predictions were first being published as to the future of the United States budget deficit. I do not understand how this huge problem which is going to face future generations continues to be pushed under the carpet. It seems as though the policymakers are not worried about it because it is not actually affecting them during their lifetime. The same thing could be said for global warming, or the oil crisis, but the fact is that people do not become concerned about something until it is personally affecting them. This “real-world procrastination” will not have positive results for future generations of the United States. Earlier education about these issues needs to occur and people need to become more involved so that their voices can be heard.
I believe there is still time to improve the debt crisis in our lifetime. It starts with education and people being willing to take a stand. Then it moves to action. Each of the suggested plans we discussed should be researched and debated as much as possible. Economists should be open to new ideas as well so that the best and worst options can be debated and solutions can be found. In the end, the solutions may not please everyone, but if nothing is done about it then the result of not doing anything will certainly be worse. The programs for social security and medicare should change to a different program that still benefits the people, but that also decreases the debt. The government should be held more accountable for its spending and it is going to take a lot of work to clean up the budget deficits. However, with involvement and active changes, these programs can be reevaluated to decrease the debt and lead to a more promising future for tomorrow’s Americans. Through this exercise I have learned a lot about the budget of our country and the problem with a big name: debt. Education started here, so we should now move to the next step of active involvement and change. Let’s do it!
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»A new report finds the main problem in getting the public to deal with our fiscal problems isn't opposition to tax increases or spending cuts -- it's their lack of trust in the government to spend their money wisely.