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Ryan McLain was absolutely right: failure to address the National Debt Crisis would not result in a doomsday scenario. Nobody is suggesting anarchy and chaos will rain from the sky if the debt isn’t addressed immediately. However, the national debt crisis does pose an imminent threat; there is not one aspect of our lives that will go unaffected if we keep kicking the can down the road.
[See "Data on National Debt Doesn't Support Doomsday Senationalism" by Ryan McLain]
First and foremost, the national debt is comprised of two types, which the non-partisan Concord Coalition simplifies as:
- Intra-governmental Debt: Money the government owes itself
- Debt held by the public: Money the government borrows on the open market from domestic or foreign investors.
With more than $16 trillion hanging over our heads, reducing it by roughly $4.5 trillion (intra-governmental debt) realistically doesn’t lessen the blow; at least, not enough to dampen the looming impact on education, entitlement programs, taxes, the job market, healthcare, national security, future investments, and the environment.
Divided among America’s taxpayers, we’re already looking at a tab of $146,00 and rising – the median household income was only $50,054 in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As we stand by and watch Washington allow the national debt to accumulate, student loan rates are rising, health care premiums have increased by roughly 97% and Social Security and Medicare are circling the drain and scheduled to cease in before the millennial generation sees its benefit.
Check out TCKB’s “Why the Debt Matters” for the specifics.
Non-partisan groups such as the Campaign to Fix the Debt and The Can Kicks Back are working tirelessly to inform citizens, young and old, about how the national debt will continue to rise and is parasitic to our economy and our futures. Mr. McLain didn’t debunk any projections about the future of these societal necessities; rather, he chose to justify our economic situation.
Sure, we’re not as bad off as Zimbabwe … but since when have we compared the two economies? Besides, wouldn’t confronting this issue before it gets out of hand seem the more logical route instead of letting America go the way of Greece? Some may disagree, but sounding the alarm now can and will save our nation the many woes other countries are currently being forced to battle.
The most alarming part of the national debt crisis is that Washington has the ability to abandon its history of political dysfunction, take off their partisan jerseys, and work toward a comprehensive debt solution now. The clock is ticking, and the argument that the national debt doesn’t matter because we’re in control is tired.
It’s a nice notion that the U.S. can outgrow this economic overhang, but the marketplace can’t operate on a whim — uncertainty is simply bad for business.