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September 10th, 2012 is National Deficit Day. That means that September 10th is the date on which the United States government is out of money for the year. Every single penny they spend for the rest of the year, explain economists James Harrington and Antony Davies, will be added to our debt. Deficit Day should ideally be on January 31st. That is, if the government had a balanced budget, they would run out of money on the last day of the year, just in time for the new fiscal year to begin. Of course, we don’t have a balanced budget. In fact, we haven’t had a budget at all in more than 1,200 days and counting.
One thing we can learn from Deficit Day is that we simply cannot continue spending at this rate. “If current trends continue,” Dan Spencer of the Examiner writes, “the U.S. will become operationally bankrupt in 2037 and will be actually bankrupt in 2047." This is not the legacy that we want to pass along to our children.
Just last week, the United States passed a historical mark. We are now $16 trillion dollars in debt. That’s right, $16,000,000,000,000. As American Thinker put it, “16 trillion dollars laid long ways, end to end with no space between them, would go on past the moon, past Venus, past Mercury, up to the surface of the sun, back to Earth, past Earth, past Mars, around the back side of Jupiter, back past Earth again, and back to the sun. If you travelled this loop, the second time you reached the sun you would still have about four trillion left to toss in the sun. You have to get rid of it somehow.”
There are those who think the answer is to raise taxes on the wealthy. However, it’s been pointed out that we could confiscate the total wealth of every billionaire in America, and we would only have $1.3 trillion. That doesn’t even come close to paying our debt for a single year. Perhaps we need to take a look at spending. After all, the government spends money on ridiculous things.
Maybe, in honor of Deficit Day, we should pass a budget and get spending under control.