As I'm sure you've noticed, it's an election year. And with the GOP's primary infighting gobbling up the headlines, it seems that many have lost sight of the main question: Why should America change its current leadership?
To sum it up in one word: money
According to the US debt clock,
, when we haven't yet reached the end of Barack Obama's first term in office, our national debt is over fifteen trillion dollars.
Now, I know the arguments: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, started by President Bush, are the real drivers of our debt. I'm not going to defend President Bush's spending - spending truly was his achilles heel - but for all of his talk about cutting spending, President Obama hasn't done a thing to reduce our nation's debt. In fact, the debt has risen faster under President Obama than it ever did under President Bush.
Consider this: the past two budgets proposed by President Obama have been absolutely horrible. His budget proposal from last year was so wonderful he couldn't even get a single vote from a member of his own party. President Obama's talk about budget cutting is just that: talk. This year's White House budget proposal ups the federal deficit to $977 billion, even with troop reductions in Iraq and Afghanistan, proving beyond any doubt that President Obama doesn't care a whit about the financial health of our nation.
It was just a few months ago that President Obama stood before Congress and the American public to push his forthcoming jobs bill. "Pass this bill now," he said of the bill, which at the time hadn't even been written yet. He even went on a nationwide tour campaigning against Congress on the false premise that another massive spending bill was essential to the economic health of our nation.
The Senate hasn't passed a budget since 2009. As it stands now, there is no accountability for the gross overspending going on in Washington ' our Congress isn't even meeting its Constitutional duty to pass a budget. Would it not be a more laudable goal for the Leader of the Free World to push both houses of Congress toward some semblance of fiscal responsibility?
We need new leadership in Washington - not only at the Presidential level, but in Congress, as well. After all, with the national debt at $137,000 per taxpayer and rising (and 103% of GDP), it's only a matter of time before our debt reaches disastrous levels.
There seems to be an attitude among America's political elite that what we are seeing in Greece, Spain, and the rest of Europe won't happen here...yet all the while, they take us down the same road that got Europe into trouble in the first place.
But these days, we're seeing competition from other places that we haven't had to worry about in the past. Our debt makes us more and more dependent on other nations (mostly China) to keep our government running. In the past, this was mitigated by the theory that there was a sort of economic MAD - Mutually Assured Destruction - where nations like China couldn't afford not to keep America afloat, because they depended on our consumerism. But the world is changing, and as things change, nations like China will become less and less dependent on American consumers. It cannot be sustained forever.
Fifteen trillion dollars is a lot
of money. Getting out of our debt hole will be a long, arduous struggle, and that's putting it lightly...Congress is now set for a battle of the budgets, with the GOP budget plan, which pairs cuts to entitlement spending with a simplified tax code, standing in stark contrast to President Obama's budget proposal, which further increases entitlement spending and calls for higher taxes on the rich, and the Democrat-controlled Senate, led by Harry Reid, is looking like they won't be voting on either proposal anytime soon.
When you take into account the report just released by Congress
showing that, over the next decade, the Democrats' tax-the-rich plan will only raise enough money to fund the federal government for a few days' time, you must wonder about the wisdom of our ruling class.
Even the GOP's budget proposal, dubbed "The Ryan Plan," for Congressman Paul Ryan, will only slow the increase in our national debt over the course of the next several years if it passes through Congress, but at least it's a step in the right direction. America is not exempt from the turmoil that is rocking nations across the Western world. It may take us a bit longer, due to our status as a superpower, but eventually, America will be facing troubles that make our current recession and jobs slump look like the good times, if we don't turn things around and start getting our debt under control.
It's high time for new leadership in Washington. The reasons for change are 15 trillion high and rising every minute.