What can you and I do to control and manage the U.S. national debt?
Paraphrasing a comment, a current candidate for the office, president of the USA: In order to balance the federal budget, I will cut or reduce any federal program except 1) the Department of Defense budget and 2) infrastructure expenditure.
What is the problem with this statement — this proposal to balance the annual federal budget? According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (www.cbpb.org), these were the federal expenditures for fiscal year 2010, in declining order of funds spent:
The Department of Defense including all national security expenditures — 20 percent.
Social Security expenditures — 20 percent.
Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health insurance (CHIP) — 20 percent.
"Safety net" programs (including earned income tax credit, child tax credit), the food stamp program, school meals, low-income housing assistance and other safety net programs — 14 percent.
Interest on the national debt — 6 percent.
All remaining government FY 2010 expenditures — approximately 20 percent.
So, what was inappropriate with that candidate's statement? If that candidate, and the U.S. Congress, are not willing to make adjustments to Department of Defense, Medicare/Medicaid, So-cial Security and the "safety net" programs, it simply will not be possible to bring the U.S. budget under reasonable management and subsequently begin to either stabilize or reduce the national debt.
All candidates for U.S. presidency, Republicans and Democrats, do not have reasonable proposals to effectively control and manage the government's annual expenditures and the national debt, excepting one: Ron Paul, congressman from Texas. Mr. Paul has proposed the type of debt reductions that just may allow the nation, we the citizens, to effectively control and manage the dangerous growth (dangerous from a national security and economic security viewpoint) of the national debt. However, Mr. Paul has not won a single state and has won few delegates toward nomination to the presidency. We continue on a steady path leading to a growing massive national debt.
So, what can you and I personally do to help bring this national debt under reasonable control and management? As candidates run, primarily for the U.S. House of Representatives, we can ask them: Specifically, how will you work with others to effectively control and manage the national debt? Be suspicious if you hear: "I will vote to oppose an increase in the debt limit," because that is too late to act (funds have already been approved and spent). Press these candidates to specifically describe how they will work with others to control and manage the "big hitters" in the budget: 1) The Department of Defense budget; 2) The Medicare/Medicaid budget and 3) Social Security future expenditures. If your candidate will not give you a "straight" answer, you may not wish to vote for that candidate.
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