Thursday, July 28, 2011

National Debt Ceiling

The current legislative debate over whether or not to raise the national debt ceiling is a frustrating process to witness. There are federal obligations that must be paid that will exceed our current revenues and available funds on hand. While I agree that the national debt ceiling must be raised in the short term to meet these current obligations, there seems to be no real efforts or urgency to reduce current expenses (that are not obligations) and increase revenues. We all know how school systems must deal with budget shortfalls. They are forced to lay off employees, reduce employee benefits, reduce operating expenses, consolidate various operations within the system, and look for additional revenues through property taxes and other/or other tax plans. This federal debt ceiling problem has been known for some time. Why have efforts not been undertaken already to reduce expenses and increase revenues? Businesses and other state and local governments must balance their budgets so it should be no different for the federal government.

Fear in financial markets is obviously not a good recipe for stable financial activity. Investors are understandably concerned by the possibility of debt defaults by the government and the negative impacts that would occur. Senior citizens are fearful that they will not be receiving their monthly social security checks. Fear needs to be eliminated to insure a stable financial system going forward.

The national debt problem must be addressed. The current national debt did not occur overnight and a quick fix will not be available. A reasonable plan to reduce the national debt over a period of time should be attainable. The eyes of the nation and the world will be watching Congress and our President on this debt ceiling/debt reduction issue. Hopefully our leaders in Washington will choose diplomacy and create a solution to our nation’s debt problem.

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