Essay by:
Shane Brunner
Emporia State University

The amount of debt that this nation has accumulated is almost out of this world. It seems the point has been reached that the payments that the United States makes will only be paying on the interest; this is almost the same principle as paying the minimum payment on a credit card. So we must find solutions to fix the current mess we are in and make an attempt to reverse the accumulation of debt this nation has by reviewing our current budget spending and looking at alternative methods for raising the amount to pay off the debt.

The first step is to review the nation’s budget and measure where cutbacks can be made; in some cases we must make some large sacrifices. However two areas that should never be sacrificed are the areas of Medicare and Social Security, which should always be available to anyone who qualifies and not a personal responsibility. Looking at the list of areas where the federal government spends a majority of its funds, one can start to see where cutbacks can be made and areas that should not be touched. Some of the areas that should be left alone are education problems for all grades kindergarten through twelve and beyond in college. Education is the key to the success of our future because it will be the kids who are going through school right now and their kids who follow after, whose shoulders that the nation’s debt falls on. It would be irresponsible of us to decrease the budget which would hinder the education of the future generations who will deal with solving this problem. Another area that needs to be neither decreased nor increased is health insurance both for children and adults.

The area that the nation is able to reduce spending is that of bailing out both financial institutions and major employers such as auto industries. A vast amount of the government’s money is going to bailing out certain businesses and institutions that are going under due to the recession. If the national debt begins the get under control, then the government can use money to stimulate the economy. This should only be done once the United States starts to get a handle on the debt problems that we face.

The other area that the federal government should reduce its spending is the area of the military. Not that the military doesn’t play an important part in the world we live in today but the spending should occur only in the dire time of need such as during periods we are actually at war in during times of natural disasters. The reason that spending should be cut to the area of military is that a majority of the debt that the nation has accumulated is due to the military. Wars cost money and a lot of it, and a majority of the money that this nation has borrowed from other countries is due to our warfare. I am not saying that the United States should reduce the amount of spending to the point where we are vulnerable to attacks for foreign countries. However, we should reduce it the point where we know when it’s time to take a different direction. The current conflict that we are in now in the Middle East is an example of something that is not helping our nation’s debt, but maybe the country should realize that it’s approaching time to leave. After pulling out of that area the nation could use that money to start paying on the national debt.

Several other tactics can be taken in the war on debt that doesn’t involve reducing federal government spending in areas that some may deem more crucial than others and that is everyone’s favorite, raising the income tax or property tax or both. One thing that the community hates overall has to pay any more than they have to on taxes. From state sales taxes or taxes on their income, people don’t like paying these taxes due to the fact that they feel like they don’t receive much back from them such as the satisfaction of seeing their money going towards something they can use. Paying higher taxes would result in a surplus of money the government could use to pay on the national debt but the community would have an out cry because of the fact that the nation’s civilians don’t see the debt as a major problem that affects their day to day lives and it is not their problem to fix. The truth of the matter is that it is everyone’s problem whether they like it or not, and it is our job to fix it before it reaches the point of being unable to be repaired.




Re: Reduction Is The Key

Shane,

It seems to be a common theme with the essays I have read thus far to reduce the amount of money poured into the government, and your point is valid that wars are what plundered us into this mess in the beginning. One point we do need to consider is at what cost to our nation would it have if we did cut funding from the military? Economically, it makes sense, but in other regards, does it really?

Thanks for a great essay!

-Ryan Wilson


Re: Reduction Is The Key

I totally agree with not cutting education, since the national debt is a problem we will face, along with our children down the line, it makes no sense to leave them with a gigantic problem that they have a severely smaller chance of solving or fixing any way because we have disadvantaged them by taking away education. I agree that there needs to be a cut on military spending too, hopefully leaving Iraq and eventually Afganistan will create a noticable decrease in spending. Good essay.

Chris Dvorak


Re: Reduction Is The Key

Shane-
i like the point-of-view you took to write this essay. I believe that they should not cut education because the people getting an education will be the future leaders of this country. I also believe with you that military spending should be cut. They do a good job but we need to focus on our own country and its problems.

Rachel Meinholdt


Re: Reduction Is The Key

I enjoyed reading your essay. I agree with the part of your essay where you said Medicare and social security should never be sacrificed. I also like and agree that you think it is fixable right now but it might not be forever so we need to get a move on.


Re: Reduction Is The Key

You are so right that the gov't making interest payments is like only paying the minimum on credit cards. It won't get us anywhere besides further in debt. Great essay. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and you said it well. Good job! -DeZ


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