Ethical Questions Raised by the US National Debt

Friends & colleagues,

I hope you are all enjoying the summer  (winter for those in the southern hemisphere).  The U.S. National debt will reach $20 trillion by the time the next President is inaugurated with no end in sight.  The biggest contributors to the national debt, entitlements, are growing due to the aging population, a declining labor force, and, of course, the inability for Washington DC to get anything done.  One way or another, the bill will come due at some point.  No nation can print and spend its way out of debt.  

There are no easy answers to solving this problem.  On the one hand, politicians made promises that could never be kept.  On the other hand, the American people, particularly those in the "baby boom" generation, acted in good faith expecting those promises to be fulfilled.  On top of that, many nations of the world invested in U.S. Sovereign debt expecting to be paid in full.

I say there is no way around cuts to those programs and dramatically raising the eligibility age for those who wish to access them.  The USA simply cannot pay for what it has promised and all the taxes in the world will not change that even if the income tax rate were 100%.  The numbers are impossible so why not just make the tough decisions now rather than wait until it's worse.  There isn't a better ethical choice.  Let's demand reforming & reducing entitlements now.
 
Or am I wrong? 

 

 

 

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Comment by Al LeBlanc on August 12, 2015 at 9:27am

NO - I Agree !  Need Reform Entitlements - Decrease Net Present Value of future obligations, e.g., gradually increase social security retirement age to correlate with increased life expectancy.  Also, Need tax reform. especially corporate "give aways" and offshore HQ tax avoidance/loop holes, et al.  

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