To the editor:
If your family spends more money in a given year than it takes in, as the federal government has done most years since the Second World War; that is a budget deficit. You spend more than you make.
To make up the deficit in your family budget, you would have to borrow money. The same is true of the Federal Government. The money it borrows is the national debt.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value of all the goods and services produced in the United States in a given year.
The United States national debt is more than $22 trillion dollars, which is over $62,000 dollars for every man, woman and child in the country.
The United States national debt has reached an unusual point. It is now more than 105% of Gross Domestic Product. Meaning it is higher than the value of all the products and services produced this year. Let’s assume your family makes $80,000 a year and you have a $200,000 mortgage; you owe more than you make in a year, but you should be paying down that debt.
The government in 2019 took in about $3.5 trillion in taxes and other revenue but spent about $4.4 trillion, meaning it had to borrow almost $1 trillion, more than 20% of the total spending. Let’s assume you make that $80,000 a year, but you spend $100,000 each year and have to borrow another $20,000 each year.
The point is that this condition couldn’t go on for long for your family, nor for your government. It doesn’t matter if we get a budget surplus by cutting costs or raising income, but the only way the debt will ever be paid down is if the government takes in more than it spends, thereby having a surplus that can be used to pay on that debt.
By ignoring this problem, we’re passing it on to our children and their children. Is this what we want for our legacy?
You are urged to call or write your congressional representatives to express your concern.