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? 

 

 

 

Views: 312

Comment

You need to be a member of Global Ethics Network to add comments!

Join Global Ethics Network

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.  

Carnegie Council

Vox Populi: What Americans Think About Foreign Policy, with Dina Smeltz & Mark Hannah

What do Americans think about the role the United States should be playing in the world? How do they conceive of the different trade-offs between domestic and international affairs, among competing options and sets of interests and values? The Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Dina Smeltz and Eurasia Group Foundation's Mark Hannah share the results of surveys from their organizations in this conversation with Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev.

China's Changing Role in the Pandemic-Driven World, with Amitai Etzioni & Nikolas Gvosdev

How has the pandemic changed U.S-China relations? How has it altered China's relationship with other nations and its geopolitical positioning? George Washington University's Amitai Etzioni and Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev discuss these questions and more as they break down "great power competition" in the era of COVID-19.

TIGRE: The Missing Link? Operationalizing the Democratic Community Narrative

Does the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as renewed concerns about overdependence on China, create an opening for the United States to move forward on decoupling from autocracies and reorienting both security and economic ties to allies who share similar values? Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev shares his thoughts.

SUBSCRIBE TODAY

VIDEOS

SUPPORT US

GEO-GOVERNANCE MATTERS

© 2020   Created by Carnegie Council.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service


The views and opinions expressed in the media, comments, or publications on this website are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Carnegie Council.