Image Courtesy of The Christian Science Monitor
The federal government has finally passed a budget to stop (for the time being) the political gridlock in Washington. National parks are open, federal workers are back to work, benefits are being received, and the national debt will be surpass $17 trillion very shortly. The comedian and political pundit Dennis Miller has summed this situation up perfectly, “Do we actually have to pay that money back?” The unfortunate news is America is in no position to payback any debt while our economy is moving at a snails pace. During President Obama’s administration the economic growth in each year has been respectively, -3.1 (yep negative growth), 2.4, 1.8, and 2.2. That’s an average of .83% growth over his first four years. Yikes! President Bush’s numbers weren’t much better during his tenure with an average growth of just over 2% in his eight years in office. So, over the last 12 years our GDP on average has grown an anemic 1.63%! Compare that to the Chinese economy, which has grown by an obnoxious 10.2% in the last 12 years.
In the twenty years prior to the Bush/Obama administrations the GDP grew at an average rate of 3.33% (Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton). These previous administrations added $3.7 trillion to the debt; rising from roughly $1.9 trillion to $5.6 trillion. Since 2000 our national debt has ballooned from $5.6 trillion to almost $17 trillion! The more depressing news is that our debt is predicted to reach $24 trillion by the end of 2016. That’s roughly $19 trillion added to the deficit in only 16 years!
There needs to be more fiscal responsibility in Washington. The excess spending and lack of growth weakens our credibility as an economic “superpower”. We need a leader who is willing to put an end to this faulty economic philosophy. We need to listen to the advice from Senator Obama in 2006:
“Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”