Need to tackle debt
For 50 years, European socialist democracies and our own republic have incurred debt they can never repay, primarily by promising entitlements that exceed the value of their gross domestic product. Vote-hungry politicians have deluded voters that continually accumulating debt won’t result in economic collapse. French and Greek voters reaffirmed that delusion recently, probably assuring collapse of the euro.
The United States now borrows 42 percent of what it spends, including a portion of entitlements no longer covered by payroll taxes. Our current deficit exceeds GDP. Longer term, we owe $65 trillion for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, an amount even the most extreme tax increases cannot begin to cover.
Default is inevitable, through failure to pay or through money-printing inflation and eventual currency collapse, and will dramatically reduce living standards, especially for the poor, elderly, disabled and young – the very people we are supposedly overspending and borrowing to protect.
Pain is unavoidable at this point, but the U.S. could suffer less by eliminating ineffective government programs, reforming our ridiculous tax code, redesigning our social safety nets and reducing regulations and bureaucracies that stifle private-sector growth and reduce revenue. It’s our choice.
Michael D. Sullivan