Politicians aren’t telling the full story on our national debt

By Hal Mason I spent the past year trying to understand why Washington is not explaining the grim dilemma we face in closing the annual trillion-dollar deficits. Maybe Washington politicians…




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Hal Mason’s Sunday guest column – “Politicians Aren’t telling the full story of our national debt”—raises legitimate questions about our fiscal future, particularly when considered in the context of the related AP story in Sunday’s Sentinel—“Numbers laid out by Obama, Romney fail to fill deficit-reduction gap”, and Ruth Marcus’s column – “Democrats’ plan to tax the wealthy won’t fix our debt-deficit problem”.

Clearly, the reason “politicians aren’t telling the full story of our national debt” is that none can offer immediately effective solutions to problems that have been building for 30 years (and were central issues in the Reagan-Mondale presidential debates in 1984).

While Marcus’s headline asserts the obvious, what is also evident is that the Romney-Ryan “plan” (if any) would worsen the problem before even attempting to address it.

Accordingly, Mason properly points to the “all of the above” strategy of the Simpson-Bowles Commission – created by President Obama—whose proposals at least “begin to attack these issues”.

Practically speaking, voters cannot elect their remedies – only their political leaders.  Voters this year face a profoundly binary choice between Republicans – who created the problem in the first place, who obstructed President Obama’s efforts to mitigate it, who voted against the Simpson-Bowles recommendations, and whose “solutions” revert to the same failed policies that caused the problem, and an experienced incumbent President—who is now well-schooled in the policy alternatives and prepared to resume the “attack”.

In 1984, Americans re-elected Ronald Reagan despite his profligate deficit-debt building spending.  Today, the Sentinel endorsed Scott Tipton for re-election, despite the fact that he (like Paul Ryan) signed the bogus Taxpayers Protection Pledge that scuttled Simpson-Bowles, and despite Tipton’s affiliation with the Tea Party “knuckle-draggers” who mindlessly threatened to send the U.S. into “bankruptcy” in 2011.

Readers interested in better understanding these complex issues should try the “Federal Budget Challenge” exercise at http://federal.budgetchallenge.org/respondents/summary#.


                Bill Hugenberg

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