In his commentary (“Economics 101: Defining deficits, debt and a looming debacle,” The Herald May 13) Paul Roberts makes several valid points about our deficits, the resulting debt, and concludes the “current trajectory of borrowing is unsustainable.” However, at this point he veers into what I refer to as “magical thinking,” as he proposes that the debt ceiling be raised now by Congress, and budget deficits be addressed in the next budget.
As it is hard to conceptualize amounts in the trillions, but this might help: a debt of $33 trillion, which we will hit in a year, divided by our population of 332 million people, is $100,000 for every person in the United States, or $260,000 for the average household of 2.6 people. As an American citizen, that debt is yours.
If our government were run by responsible leaders who operated in a logical, reasonable manner, and solved problems through honest, well-intentioned negotiations, the proposal to reverse the debt increases starting in FY-24 would have some validity. However, as our leaders on both sides have consistently shown, without the leverage of an approaching crisis no real negotiation or positive action will occur.
The party in power will continue to support its agendas at the expense of all others. The Republican house majority is presently using leverage from the approaching crisis, in an attempt to pull our nations fiscal condition back from the brink of insolvency. Leverage from the approaching crisis is needed to force Democrats to negotiate, and releasing that leverage in hopes of future reasoned negotiations is folly.
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