Don’t even get me started on Alexander Hamilton and when the U.S. government borrowed some $19,608.81 to officially mark the beginning of the national debt in 1789- I know. I know how important he said it was and how debt can be a great factor for leverage in building economies and strengthening the country much faster than would otherwise be possible by natural revenue gains. Hamilton’s initial point of argument in fact was largely centered on how debt could be used to better assert national power and I certainly agree on that point. It might be fair to say I’ve learned how valuable debt can be at times in my accounting classes here at BYU.
“Our biggest problems in the next 10 years are not deficits,” the president said, according to accounts from the meeting, bluntly rejecting an idea that has become Republican fiscal dogma.
But when I read statements like this from the current President I do tend to get a little bit antsy. I would tend to think that I grew up in a place like most other people where money did not in fact grow on trees, and where I did have to work to buy things, and had to watch what I spent lest I ran out and had nothing left. My family is huge on finance- my mom still balances her checkbook by hand at the end of each month.
For the President to stand up and say that this is not one of our biggest problems I think is irresponsible, silly, and dead wrong to put it politely. How can cutting back on government spending and getting a more balanced budget not be on the forefront of our current political agenda? How is that not considered one of our biggest problems….? It just doesn’t make sense to me, that it makes sense to so many political leaders that you can spend more than you have year in and year out and not face problems. That mindset if had by any business leader or really any normal person would certainly earn them the title of crazy or insane. Yet when that mindset is held by some of our national leaders they get a pat on the back and another 4 or 5 years in the big chair in Washington.
Certainly balancing the budget and coming up with an appropriate fiscal plan is a delicate process. There’s a lot that must go into it, lots of planning, lots of careful thinking to ensure government programs that are essential continue to operate and the citizens continue to receive what the government promises them. I’m not sure if I fully agree with the current Republican plan or the Democratic one, there are a few good points in each to be honest…. Compromise is needed but i think a central feature of any plan should be to drastically reduce current expenses from the Federal Government in efforts to cut the deficit and give our country some economic future.
Money can’t just be created from thin air- or wait, I guess it can be printed pretty easily. Though anyone who’s familiar with Zimbabwe can tell us about the joys that come from engaging in that unsavory process. I think I still have a few 1 trillion dollar notes from my last trip to the country, a lot of good that did them. Reducing the deficit should be on the foreground of any responsible political leaders agenda, for the President to say this is not one of our biggest problems is irresponsible on his side.
And just in case anyone’s wondering just how big our deficit is- you can watch it grow!