Democracy and Power 104: Future Debt Burden
A government debt is a government claim against personal income and private property – an unpaid tax bill. —Hans F. Sennholz
Obama is Bankrupting the Youth and Unborn
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
That was Senator Obama in 2006 explaining to the Senate why he voted against raising the debt ceiling. Today, a couple of debt ceilings later and after doubling our government debt, President Obama wants to raise the ceiling! Plus, he labels those citizens demanding spending cuts as endangering America – holding a gun to the head of the American people. Of course, the top Senate Democrats – Reid, Durbin, Schumer and Murray – have sent a letter to the President telling him to use any means possible to extend the debt ceiling.
“…must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis — without congressional approval, if necessary.”
This is nonsense! America has plenty of money to pay the interest and debts currently due. So, what do Democrats want? First, they want more taxes to save ObamaCare, which is proving to be very expensive. Second, they want no cuts or alterations to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Third, they want to not be forced to follow the law and present a budget, which would reveal their total indifference to being fiscally responsible.
And so…after four, long years as president, Mr. Obama has accelerated the national debt and dangerously increased the burden being passed on to our children and grandchildren. His eloquent words from 2006 are much more pertinent today:
Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
In 2006, Obama was correct. Debt is a terrible burden to place upon our children and grandchildren. Why has his mind changed?
He and Democrats passed ObamaCare; their legacy. They will forever be remembered for having created universal healthcare for America. Plus, maintaining Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid without making changes is a winning political issue. Therefore, preserving ObamaCare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid without change is a win for Democrats. As usual, politics is all about power and ego.
What about the young and the unborn? As Senator Obama said in 2006, our children and grandchildren will inherit huge burdens. They will pay higher taxes to maintain Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and even more taxes for ObamaCare. There is no money saved for these programs. Unfortunately, higher taxes means less investment money for the private sector, which will stifle the economy and retard growth, innovation and freedom.
There are four great tragedies associated with the dangerous debt:
First, as stated, the young and unborn will be needlessly and grievously damaged.
Second, President Obama, Democrats and Republicans know the terrible burden being placed on our next generations and should openly discuss the problem and the solutions.
Third, most young people are woefully unaware of the approaching financial and societal declines and upheavals.
Fourth, the bleak future can be avoided, but America must make major changes – now.
There is a proven course of action: cut government spending and reform entitlements. Two Harvard economists have studied countries around the globe, particularly nations that best reduced their debt. Thier research found that cutting spending was a far superior method to reducing debt than raising taxes. [Read: The Right Way to Balance the Budget]
Utilizing the ground-breaking work of Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna of Harvard, Andrew Biggs, Kevin Hassett and Matt Jensen of the American Enterprise Institution (AEI) studied many governments’ attempts to reduce debt and found that major spending cuts were indispensable:
The data also clearly indicate that successful attempts to balance budgets rely almost entirely on reduced government expenditures, while unsuccessful ones rely heavily on tax increases.
The AEI study found reducing transfers(entitlements) and government wages was also essential:
A 1996 International Monetary Fund study concluded that “fiscal consolidation that concentrates on the expenditure side, and especially on transfers (entitlements) and government wages, is more likely to succeed in reducing the public debt ratio than tax-based consolidation.”
Immorally, President Obama knows the debt has terrible consequences for our future generations and government spending must be substantially decreased. Wrongfully, he wants more taxes and increased spending. Presently, very few House Republicans and around eight Senators are seriously and persistently attempting to reduce the scope of our government. These elected champions of small government, personal freedom and prosperity will not make meaningful reforms without the strong backing of young Americans.
The faster young Americans wake up, the faster our country can shift gears and make change happen. Conversely, the longer young Americans wait to put pressure on Congress and the President, the greater the harm they do to themselves.
Why is it up to the young to force reform? The old are dependent on “entitlements,” and will cling to their “rights.” So, today’s politician will not make good and honorable decisions in fear of upsetting voting seniors receiving Social Security and Medicare. Clearly, it is in our youth’s interest to force reform. Presently, young Americans are unemployed or underemployed because of debt and bad policies. Inevitably, young Americans will discover the source of their despair and discontent. The question is how long will young Americas put up with immoral and incompetent governance before they force reform?