Will The Republican Controlled Congress Address The National Debt?


National Debt Crises

For many years, The United States national debt has been a crisis. Over the years many politicians have gone to the podium to pitch to the American people how he or she plans to fix the national debt. They all believe that they have the "correct" idea to fix the national debt or at least bring it down a large amount. Unfortunately, none of these politicians have been able to make a dent in the rapidly growing national debt. The debt continues to rise rapidly with no sign of a decline in the future. Some people believe that we may never fix our debt problem.

The United States national debt currently sits at over 20 trillion dollars. The national debt has had differences in increases from administration to administration with some being more harmful than others. For example, Under George H.W. Bush the national debt increased over 1.5 trillion dollars. Under the Clinton Administration, the national debt increased over 1.3 trillion dollars. Under President George W. Bush the national debt increased over five trillion dollars. Under the Obama Administration, the National debt saw an increase of over seven trillion dollars. This evidence proves that different administrations approaches to spending are more harmful to the national debt than others. The reason for this is how much the Government spends. The Obama administration allocated much more money than the Bush administration. Increases in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security lead to a much larger increase in the debt. The Bush Administration spend much less money on all of these things but there was still a large increase in the debt. Nonetheless, the debt still continues to rapidly increase from each administration to the next regardless of the approach to spending.

The national debt is increased when the Government spends more money than it is bringing in in revenue per year, we call the yearly increase to the debt, the "deficit". When the Government increases funding for more social programs that they have promised for the public (which they continually do), they must spend money that they don’t have. This is called deficit spending and causes the national debt to rise perpetually. Some people believe the national debt can be taken down in a matter of a few years with some simple changes. Others believe the national debt will never go away because the Government will never get its spending under control. As of today, it seems it will take many years to solve this problem. The only way to decrease the national debt in our current situation is to significantly decrease spending.

Democrats generally advocate for decreasing the national debt by increasing taxation, and some of them even argue that deficit spending is a perfectly healthy way to run an economy. This solution is troubling simply due to the fact that at a certain point of increasing taxation, you actually end up generating less revenue due to the lower incentive to produce, thus why their budgets have a tendency to not balance. Republicans advocate that in order to decrease our national debt we must decrease spending. This coupled with decreases in taxation (which can actually end up in a net increase in revenue) generally tend to produce a balanced budget, however, in the past the tax cuts were not followed up by a reduction in government spending, but rather a continuation of increases. Now that the Republican tax reform bill has been passed, there must be must be a spending budget that correlates with the tax cuts. In order for the tax cuts to truly reduce the deficit, we must have a budget that decreases spending drastically. If Republicans fail to implement a budget that correlates with the tax cuts we will continue to see the national debt increase rapidly. This very well may happen largely due to the fact that the Republicans hold an extremely thin majority in the Senate, which means that they lack the political leverage to produce such a budget.

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