The entire debate on the debt ceiling is a waste of time. The debt ceiling has to and will go up. The American public is being duped. As long as our annual fiscal budgets contain deficits, the National Debt has to go up. The National Debt reflects the aggregate amount of money that the United States owes its creditors. It will only come down if our annual spending is reduced and/or our revenues grow at a higher pace than the government spends each year. What we need to do is reverse the whole scenario and start with a balanced budget amendment that would force the government to live within its means.
I am not sure how many Americans understand the government fiscal process. First, we have not had or passed a budget in the last two years and no one that I have talked to can remember the last time that the government presented a balanced budget. A balanced budget is where revenues equal expenses. My friend at the Bureau of Public Debt, a Division of the United States Treasury, retired after 40 years of service and he couldn’t remember a time when there was a balanced budget. All this talk about President Clinton having a surplus is just smoke and mirrors. The economy was good at the time and the Treasury took in more than the Congress had spent. Neither Bill Clinton nor Congress did anything!
There is not a plan before Congress or the President that currently will eliminate the projected deficit. Congress plans on future deficits. The current debate is just how much we, as a country, can afford to lower the deficit but not eliminate it at this time. All this talk about $4.7 or $3.7 being eliminated from the deficit over the next decade is just what it says. Our deficit will continue to grow but not as fast as projected. The National Debt would go down if the 2012 Federal Budget projected a surplus. It does not. The 2012 budget projects a $1 trillion dollar deficit.
Put simply, think about the National Debt as your credit card balance. The credit card balance will only go down if you pay more against it than you charge in any given time period. If your spending continues to exceed your payments, does it take a rocket scientist to understand that the balance will continue to rise?
The whole current process of a debt ceiling discussion is disgusting. It is a game where no one is either being honest or real. As long as the government spends 40% more than it takes in, our debt will continue to grow. Again, I hear the all too familiar “patchwork” phrases about eliminating this loop hole or that expense. There is no real plan and there is no time to formulate a real plan. Obama knows it and Congress knows it. And, by the way, there are not enough wealthy people to pay down the deficit no matter how much Mr. Obama talks about it. If there are any tax increases coming, the middle class will get hit like it always has in the past. Watch out for the elimination of many of the current tax deductions like mortgage interest, charitable contributions, etc. I need to go take my blood pressure pills now!