Long Term Solutions To Fix Our National Debt Crisis

Once again we find ourselves preparing for the imminent possibility of a government shutdown.  President Obama will soon approach Congress with yet another request for a debt limit increase. Yet again, the very health of our government rests upon the ability of Congress to reach accord on one of the most contentious issues before it – management of the nation’s checkbook.

In response to this impending deadline, fiscal conservatives are right to demand that the President commit to specific, measurable and meaningful reductions in future spending.  We need to find a permanent solution to the persistent debate surrounding the quest to balance available revenue with spending needs.

Primarily due to the exponential growth in the national debt, Congress faces mounting pressure to demonstrate efficacy in managing the purse strings of the nation.  The substantive differences of the two parties in their budgetary approaches have led to stalemate.  Avoidance of the annual governmental budget showdown will be achieved when, and only when, the President and Congress collectively develop responsible fiscal legislation.

Economists identify funding of the growing entitlement programs as the main destabilizer in the quest to attain revenue/spending equilibrium.  The saving measures enacted thus far have done little to adequately curb the long-term trajectory of resources needed to fully fund the Medicare and Social Security programs. From 2013 to 2040, it is expected that Social Security spending will increase from 4.9 percent of GDP to 5.9 percent of GDP.  Most economists estimate that Social Security assets will be exhausted by 2033.  If nothing is done to resolve this problem, benefits could automatically be cut by a whopping 23 percent.

The impact of traditional entitlement programs, like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, certainly take center stage in the debate over spending reduction.  However, there is a new albatross looming around the corner.  The clearly potent impact of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) is set to take place in 2014.  ACA will become another entitlement program under the patronage of an already broken government. The impact for Americans will inevitably surface in the form of higher taxes and a higher national deficit.  This looming fiscal albatross demonstrates clearly for all who care to see President Obama’s disregard for our nation’s short and long-term fiscal solvency.

It is a formidable task to create and manage a budget that affords the greatest degree of freedom, security and opportunity to all citizens of our great nation.  Many Americans are calling on Congress to defund ACA and seriously address our already broken entitlement programs.  As our national leaders again approach an important fiscal crossroads, perhaps the Congress will pause and carefully consider using this pivotal moment as an opportunity to insist upon serious action that will lead to permanent resolution of American’s fiscal problems.  Obama may balk, but it’s time to draw a line in the sand.

 

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