Quiz time! How much in total liabilities has the federal government accumulated? Hint: Ignore the debt clock, which reads $16.6 trillion. This represents only current U.S. public debt and intra-governmental debt. According to the former comptroller general and the Comeback America Initiative, the answer is $71.6 trillion. That is a lot of debt.
Future generations are on the hook for this. This is an economic, national security and, most importantly, a moral issue, no? The government has promised too much. Key drivers include age demographics, health care costs, the tax code, and the absence of much-needed budget controls in the law. Politicians know it but have failed to address any of these drivers with sequestration.
My friends tease me all the time for watching C-SPAN online. Watch it sometime to observe the behavior of our leaders. Our national debt and deficits are not partisan issues as the politicians and the media say. The president and Congress should focus on gradually reducing the debt-to-gross domestic product ratio to a reasonable level. Ten-day vacations, campaigning, and finger-pointing are unacceptable. It is up to us, particularly young people, to pressure the president and Congress to work together, prioritize, budget and start addressing the real drivers of our debt problem.
Write your representatives! We must believe in and demand bipartisanship and budgets.
R. ALAN PERRY JR.