Sunday, November 27, 2011
In his letter to the editor Nov. 20, Dan R. Clark makes an eloquent argument for ousting the incumbents in Washington, D.C. They're the ones who got us into the financial crisis we're in, not us. However, I believe he is only half right.
Yes, our senators and representatives seem on the surface to be somehow mentally deficient. But I think they're actually pretty savvy. They're smart enough to know which side their bread is buttered on. They're smart enough to know that to propose any cuts in programs that would touch their district, or to propose any tax increases are two sure ways to commit political suicide. We, the American people, won't stand still for that. We will vote them out.
That is sad because the latest figures I've read indicate that all of the revenue that comes into the federal government is wholly consumed on just two entitlement programs: Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. Everything else our government does, from running all of its departments to supporting the world's biggest military, is implemented with borrowed money. That's about 40 cents of each dollar spent.
Italy is feeling the constricting grip of a national debt that is 120 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The United States is currently at 100 percent of GDP (about $14 trillion) and quickly running up the bill.
By the way; if I owe you $1 million and pay you back at $1 a second, it will take a little over 11 days. If I owe you $1 trillion and pay at $1 a second it will take 31,689 years! We can't fully comprehend the size of our debt.
We need to take very painful steps. Those steps must include cutting programs and increasing taxes. I don't see any other way when we are spending 40 percent more than our income year by year.
Will the American people demand their senators and representatives take that level of action to save our future? It would surprise me greatly if we did.
What won't come as any surprise to me is if it turns out the one action that will finally force us to get our financial house in order is a colossal economic collapse.
Do you see any other logical outcome considering the current expectations of the American people? I don't.