America needs to stop spending, look to the futureYou, very likely, will think me presumptuous for bringing up the sacrosanct subject of high finance.
By: Bernie Hughes, The Daily Telegram
You, very likely, will think me presumptuous for bringing up the sacrosanct subject of high finance. No personal financial holdings of consequence, and no official credentials; why is this average citizen making money talk? I am broaching this subject as I wonder and worry about my children, grandchildren, yours and all future generations as we are saddling them, unmercifully, with this astronomical debt.
In the event you are not aware of this unbelievable financial noose we have and are continuing to accumulate, please hear me out. You can check many of the facts herein if you, family or friend have computer access. It is available — U.S. National Debt Clock. At this point in time, Saturday, Aug. 9, our debt is $9,574,474,372.05. That is nine trillion, five hundred seventy four billion, four hundred seventy four million, three hundred forty nine thousand, three hundred seventy two dollars and five cents. And the saddest side of this statistical situation is that it is growing and growing rapidly, $1.79 billion a day.
What does it mean for me, you and every other U.S. citizen alive at this point in time? Our population is estimated at 305,510,105 so we (each man, woman and child) owe $31,422.22. Every now and again, you hear someone say, “Do the math.” This debt math is discouraging, disheartening and depressing.
Who do we owe? Fifty two of it we owe to ourselves as investments in reserves that fund Social Security, Medicare, etc. A good share of it is owed to foreign governments: Japan — $644 billion, China — $350 billion, United Kingdom — $239 billion and oil exporting nations — $100 billion.
We used to be first of the world’s financial wheeler dealers; now we have a good deal of company as Chrysler has been bought by a German firm, Budweiser has been bought by a Belgium firm and that list of foreign ownership is quietly growing longer.
What do we, you and I and our fellow citizens, need to do? We need to spend less — much less unless we find or are willing to locate and gather additional sources of income. We need to pull in our horns as my Montana friends put it. Do we really need to spend so much more on military than all other developed countries combined? (How severely has Switzerland suffered without even a smidgen of that capability?) President Eisenhower warned us about the industrial/military complex — someone who truly understood military essential needs as opposed to excessive buildup, but we paid his warning no nevermind.
And a lot of other budgetary boondoggles could be reduced; no big contracts as one example. Maybe, in these days of almost instant technology and ease of transportation, we should consider combining units of government that are duplicative, reducing the size of government (do we really need 535 Congressman?) and demanding that governmental personnel work a full schedule of hours and days and receive the same health and pension benefits as the average working citizen. And should we be bailing out (welfare for the rich and famous) gargantuan financial institutions, with great reputations of superior know-how and financial accumulation, that obviously haven’t been minding their financial p’s and q’s.
There are many qualified people who could lead if we put our “democratic” feet down. We’ve noted world countries, that aren’t democracies, who experience drastic and chilling revolutions and coups. We can do it, without armed bloodshed in our democracy if we truly believe that this financial travesty should not be allowed to continue.
All of its need to conscientiously study political maneuverings so we know what is transpiring; too many of us have given up because we are too busy earning a living, raising a family and pleasuring ourselves. Too many of us have turned over our democratic responsibilities to our leaders even when they are demonstrably proceeding in the wrong direction. We’ve, recently even had some conscientious citizens cited as unpatriotic for opposition to a preemptive war entered without international concurrence. (Democratic process should apply on the international level too).
When we know what is going on, when we know our direction needs to be changed, it is our responsibility as democratic citizens to assertively speak and act. We can’t continue to rock-a-bye lazily along hoping for the best. We owe more, much more, to the offspring that we are shifting our problems to.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D., is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at Bernie1@cpinternet.com.