The national debt affects the entirety of the United States. With a seemingly insurmountable debt, the question of what to do looms large. Clearly, the United States needs to take steps toward paying off the deficit. How to go about doing that is less clear. Approaches vary to the point of contradicting each other. Three things the United States government can do to decrease the deficit are cut spending, minimize entitlement, and increase taxes.
Decreasing the deficit by cutting government spending seems clear. The logic being that decreased spending would simply mean less debt being incurred that has to be made up. The opposing argument claims that much of the money being spent is used in an attempt to stimulate the economy. Cuts however, “would spur economic growth by shifting resources from lower-valued government activities to higher-valued private activities” (Edwards). The jobs government creates have a lower impact on the economy than private jobs. Private jobs do more to create goods than government jobs do. The reason this has not been implemented yet is because government is currently spending as an attempt to stimulate growth. If this proves to be ineffective over time, the government will likely switch to cutting their spending. The second part of the solution is related to the first.
Decreasing entitlement money will help decrease the deficit. Entitlement is one of the biggest places for government money to go. “Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid already cost $1.6 trillion per year” (U.S. Chamber of Commerce). The national debt currently being $18 million, entitlement money accounts for nearly 10 percent of this. This is an unnecessary burden on taxpayers and on government. Lessening entitlement money would allow the government to save that money, or put it into more ventures that pay dividends.
While it seems painful, raising taxes would decrease the deficit at a highly consistent rate. “Right now we have close to 50% of Americans not paying any income taxes” (Patrick). It may seem as though many citizens are already paying more taxes than necessary. The truth however, is that many people could do more to assist the government. While in a perfect world, taxes would be at a bare minimum, we do not live in a perfect world. Raising taxes would mean a steady flow of money coming into the government. Over time, this would have a significant impact on decreasing the national debt.
None of these solutions are overly appealing. In fact, it would be better if all these things were avoidable. But the truth is not. The United States is being forced to make sacrifices in order to improve its long-term national economic standing. Decreasing government spending will help our government to lose less money while more comes in. While spending in order to stimulate the economy is valiant, it appears to be futile. Entitlement is an important system, but it is sadly disproportionately dragging down the economy. Taxes should be practically nonexistent. However, in times such as these, taxation can be a highly effective way to help lessen the deficit, and get the economy back on track. While no solution is perfect, it is important to do whatever is necessary to decrease, and then eliminate the deficit. Only once this is accomplished, can the United States continue to grow and develop.
- Edwards, Chris. “A Plan to Cut Federal Government Spending.” 2015. http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/plan-to-cut-federal-spending
- Patrick’s Josh. “4 Solutions to Our National Debt Problem.” 2015. http://www.stage2planning.com/blog/bid/40984/4-Solutions-For-Our-National-Debt-Problem-Wealth-Management
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “10 Truths About America’s Entitlement Programs, Address by R. Bruce Josten Executive Vice President of Government Affairs U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” 2013. https://www.uschamber.com/sp_GoBack_GoBackeech/10-truths-about-america%E2%80%99s-entitlement-programs-address-r-bruce-josten-executive-vice