EDITORIAL: The National Debt's Hour Is At Hand

HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  The National Debt's Hour Is At Hand

For years, decades even, Americans have heard of the warnings regarding the national debt.  However, we are told that few have been worried about it because they haven't really experienced any pain from our overwheming debtload.  

But as the controversy swirls around yet another increase in the national debt limit, we wonder if Americans are finally realizing that they have been feeling the pain of the national debt--both by the weight of the load and the absence of our country's ability to pay for more worthy projects than gargantuan interest payments. 

Under the Obama Administration, the national debt has nearly doubled and is now over $17 trillion dollars.  But here's the really painful part.  At the current rate, a full $7 trillion in INTEREST will be paid over the next decade.  Just like the credit card holder whose extraordinary interest rate has caught up with him, Uncle Sam will be paying in interest $7 trillion in interest alone over the next ten years.

Just think what America could do with that $7 trillion if our fiscal house had been put in order by past and current Presidents and Congresses. With $7 trillion to spread around, conservatives could give tax dollars back to Americans and liberals could advocate investments in their favorite social programs--with all kinds of money to spare.

Yet all that money is going towards the most unproductive of places:  interest payments.  Beyond the disgust more Americans have with this waste is the very real concern that America is reaching a tipping point.  We have long known that such spending beyond our means had a limit out there somewhere.  

Now with sustained unemployment and fewer taxpayers paying more of the tax burden, that outer limit of America's borrowing ability seems closer than ever before.

So whether you agree with the House Republicans' tactics in forcing the Obama Administration to face fiscal reality and make some significant cuts in exchange for another debt level increase, the truth is that the Republicans are the ones providing leadership here.  We can no longer mortgage further our children and grandchildren's future with more oppressive debt.

Today, our federal government estimates that China owns 8% of our federal debt.  That is why we have rustlings from Beijing this week, warning President Obama not to default on America's bills.  That the American people have to suffer this indignity, realizing how much economic power a traditional rival has over us, is a sign of the times.  We have done it to ourselves.

However, what happens if we don't start trimming our federal budget significantly over the next several years? Will a growing China own 15% or even 20% of our national debt in another ten years?  

In addition to not having anything left in the Treasury but interest payments, we may find a representative of the People's Republic of China sitting on our Federal Reserve.  

Our national sovereignty is at stake.  Now is the time to bite the bullet and to force our federal government to slim down over the next decade.




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