On Wednesday, President Obama addressed the nation to talk about the deficit problem. The annual deficit is the amount of money our government spends in a year that is not covered by the taxes we pay. That is opposed to the national debt, which is the accumulation of these deficits.
Currently, our deficit is $1.65 trillion. To put that in perspective, if one dollar equaled one second, it would take over 52,000 years to equal this year’s deficit. I don’t think my poor little calculator could do the math on our over $14 trillion of accumulated debt.
Obviously something needs to be done. We either need more money coming in, or less money going out. As pointed out on IowaHawk’s blog, not enough money realistically exists to cover our expenditures. Therefore, we must reduce our spending to balance the budget and begin to pay down our tremendous debt.
According to Reuters, 59% of Americans would cut programs to reduce deficit spending, while 30% would raise taxes to cover the cost. President Obama agreed in Wednesday’s speech that cutting some spending might be necessary ... right before he slammed Republicans for trying to lead us to a fundamentally different America than the one he’s known.
"The way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we've known certainly in my lifetime," Obama said, calling their plan "deeply pessimistic." He suggested Republicans were giving up on basic functions of government.
"It's a vision that says if our roads crumble and our bridges collapse, we can't afford to fix them. If there are bright young Americans who have the drive and the will but not the money to go to college, we can't afford to send them," Obama said of the Republican plan. "It's a vision that says America can't afford to keep the promise we've made to care for our seniors."
Right. We Republicans gleefully envision a future with crumbling roads and starving seniors. Or maybe some of us actually understand that raising taxes, as President Obama suggests, is just about the worst thing you can do in a down economy.
Something’s got to give, and it’s not our roads and bridges. It’s Pigford settlements, school lunch kickbacks, and that pesky little pension problem. It’s the fact that 1/3 of ‘income’ in the U.S. is a government payout.
Yes, it would be nice if no one ever had to pay for anything like health care or education or housing or food or insert-entitlement-of-choice, but that’s simply not possible. If everything is free, there’s no point in working. If no one’s working ... well, that’s when we get crumbled bridges and starving seniors.
Image via _J_D_R_/Flickr