Saturday, January 30, 2010

Call for National Fiscal Responsibility

I've been thinking a lot lately about our national debt. I've only just recently been reading up on how big it is, how we accumulated it, and why we should be concerned. I think as Americans we sometimes have a tendency not to worry about debt. We are used to racking up huge amounts in student loans, in taking out mortgages, making car payments, and sadly even run up huge credit card bills. Since we can manage to have thousands of dollars in debt, and still have a fairly decent quality of life, sometimes this debt doesn't seem real to us. It's not until that debt gets in the way of something we need or want in life, do we realize that it's a problem.

I think most of us don't think of the national debt as something that's real. It's like an imaginary number that somehow indicates our economic health, but doesn't really affect our lives in anyway. Like someone who racks up credit card debt and just keeps spending and living the way they want, we think that somehow this national debt isn't real, or won't directly affect us, or we can worry about it later.

But eventually it is going to catch up to us, and it will probably be our children and the next generation that will have to suffer most from our deficit debauchery. I began looking into groups that advocate for fiscal reform and encountered The Concord Coalition "non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about the causes and consequences of federal budget deficits, the long-term challenges facing America's unsustainable entitlement programs, and how to build a sound foundation for economic growth." They have lot of articles that point to information on the national debt and have educational resources on their site. I also found out that there is a group of Democrats in the House who advocate for reform, called the Blue Dog Coalition. They don't much information on their site, but it was interesting to learn about this group, because I had never heard of them before and am interested to see what they actually produce.

Why don't people care about this more? Why is this not a bigger political issue? Probably because advocating for reform usually means tightening our belts, spending less and taxing more, and those are unpopular measures for any politician.

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