The national debt is a worrisome occurrence that causes negative effects for current generations and, most regrettably, for future generations. Our national debt consists of the increasing cumulative amount that the United States Government has spent beyond the income that is has acquired; these unfortunate incidents occur when the United States Government runs an annual deficit, which results in the revenue not being able to sufficiently cover spending. Consequently, money must be borrowed, and the national debt continues to increase. Recently, the national debt has increased drastically due to a combination of factors. For example, the economic downturn following September 11, 2001, the war on terrorism, the Iraq war, and the massive tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that dramatically reduced revenue are a few examples of why the national debt has increased (“National Debt Limit Countdown”). What's more, the current national debt as of November 30, 2008, at 6:58 PM, is $10,659,973,095,084.65. Since the estimated population of the United States is 305,185,514, each one’s share of the debt is $34,929.49. Not many college students would like to sacrifice what might be a first annual salary. However, the national debt has continued to increase an average of $3.86 billion per day since September 28, 2007 (“US National Debt Clock”). Due to the current national debt that the United States is facing, we should worry immensely.
The national debt causes huge concern among citizens because it is an unbelievable obligation, which results in facing additional tribulations such as higher car loans and higher mortgage loans. Increasing debt also weakens currency, which results in higher costs for goods such as oil, food, and other essentials. High debt also deducts from national income, which subsequently reduces individual income. Approximately 5 percent of the total economic production goes to debt service. Lastly, high national debt also prevents economic growth, by forcing money that would go into capital expenditures (e.g., machinery, tools, and factories) to be used for debt service. (“National Debt”). Despite the severity of national debt, there are a few solutions to fix the United States national debt. In order to repair the current debt, and to refrain from future generations suffering from our current debt, specific, obtainable, and realistic goals must be realized and obtained. The objectives that should be realized and met to begin helping the current national debt consist of investing in infrastructure, removing U.S. troops from Iraq immediately, voting, and people only spending the money they have, and alternatively saving more money.
Infrastructure would prove to be helpful to the current national debt for many reasons. Infrastructure consists of items such as roads, parking lots, bridges, airports, cell phone towers, railroads, etc. These investments are essential and utilized on a daily basis. Since they are essential, they have extremely expected income results, and they require capital costs to build, which results in long-term income. With additional infrastructure investments, long-term investments will be made that can significantly help the national debt.
An additional matter that would help the national debt is by withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. The Iraq War has proven to be extremely negative for the United States economy. It began in 2003, and the financial costs include approximately $474 billion spent as of December 7, 2008. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the total cost of the Iraq war for U.S. taxpayers is $1.9 trillion (“Cost of Iraq War 2008”). It has been a poorly planned operation, as President George Bush’s plan for Iraq includes providing economic aid, although Iraq has $12 billion. Nevertheless, and fortunately, Barack Obama would like to withdraw troops from Iraq by spring 2009. "It is important at this point that Congress offer specific constructive approaches to what's proven to be a foreign policy disaster," President Elect Obama said in an interview with the Associated Press, "because we've got too much at stake to simply stand on the sidelines and criticize” (“Guardian”). By withdrawing from Iraq, the national debt would improve significantly.
Voting is another helpful approach that would contribute to eliminating the national debt problem. Voting is an extremely effective measure that should be used to reduce the national debt. By voting, people will be able to choose the best qualified person for President, especially based on the problems the country is facing. In most cases, this measure can significantly help the economy. Since voting helps guide the direction of the country, it could also help the national debt, as the electorate thinks critically about these important issues. We can no longer avoid this.
Lastly, in order to help the national debt, people should refrain from spending the money they do not have, and should instead learn to sacrifice and save. Although it may sound like a rather simple approach, not many people follow through with this seemingly easy concept. If people would merely be more sensible with their purchases, and choose to buy only what is necessary for them, our total debt would improve considerably.
Overall, it is apparent that the national debt is an exceptionally serious matter for the United States. Fortunately, several measures can be taken to reduce the negative effects. The objectives that need to be met consist of investing in infrastructure, withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, voting, and people not living beyond their means and instead choosing to save more. These easy measures that would be taken would prove to be very helpful to the current national debt. Although the national debt can be rather alarming, fortunately, it can also begin to be repaired with these solutions.
Cost of Iraq War 2008. 2008. zFacts. 29. Nov. 2008.
Negative Consequences of National Debt. 2001 – 2008. Democratic Underground. 29. Nov. 2008.
National Debt Limit Countdown. 2008. OMB Watch. 29 Nov. 2008.
U.S. National Debt Clock. 2008. National Debt. 29 Nov. 2008.
World News. 2008. Guardian. 29. Nov. 2008.