Balanced budget should be top priority for presidential candidates
As our country faces extreme economic and fiscal downfalls, it is important for our presidential candidates to focus their efforts on fixing and reducing our national debt. Currently, the national debt reaches more than $15 trillion and President Obama is seeking to add another $1.2 trillion.
In just four short years, between the years of 2003-2007, the national debt grew at an average of $500 billion dollars per year. As if these numbers were not severe enough, the debt has grown even further since 2008, increasing by at least $1 trillion dollars annually every year since then. These numbers are completely unsustainable and if not corrected by the “super committee,” negative implications will occur for all sectors of the economy, the hardest hit being our national security. According to PolitiFact, about thirty-three percent of all U.S. debt is owned by foreign countries, with China reigning as the largest holder and oil exporting countries continue to be the fourth largest. If we do not search for methods to decrease our debt to these foreign locations, and soon, our security will remain at risk.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently released startling numbers suggesting that the U.S. debt equals approximately $44,900 per individual or roughly $91,500 per working citizen. It is unthinkable to expect that with taxpayers undergoing so much financial burden and debt, we can possibly overcome a recession.
The “super committee” failed to come up with a bi-partisan agreement by the November 23rd deadline; thus, beginning in 2013, Congress will face automatic cuts of $1.2 trillion over a ten-year span. Although this initially sounds promising, it is only a fraction of cuts that need to be made, about $44 trillion over the same ten-year timeframe. Recently, the United States received its first credit downgrade from Standard & Poor’s as a result of our government being unable to reach a unanimous decision to reduce the national debt.
Our country has not faced an economic environment so abysmal since the Great Depression; therefore, it is vital for our Federal Government to keep our country’s prosperity and growth at the forefront of its decision-making. To protect future generations from unfairly inheriting the negative consequences caused by our tremendous budget deficit, all of Congress must work together to balance our nation’s budget.
I strongly encourage the Presidential candidates to aggressively support a balanced budget and develop policies to reduce our debt to get America back to the prosperous land it should be.
Jeanine Notter is a State Representative in the NH House, representing Hillsborough – District 19, and is host of “Chattin’ with Jeanine” on Merrimack Community Television.