Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Rising Level of Debt Considered a National Security Problem

The United States Joint Forces Command released a study stating that the U.S. government will add 9 trillion dollars of debt to its balance sheets in the next decade, outpacing the most optimistic, best-case scenario for economic growth.  Payments will increase just for servicing the debt, which will cut into government spending, possibly defense. 

In a related story, a blue-ribbon panel met with Obama early in the year and told him the same thing.  Only, they wrote up a report that used the three major U.S. government so-called "entitlement programs" (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) as a model, and strongly implied that taxes would need to be raised or growth in these programs would need to be strictly curtailed.  I've always had trouble with that term, "entitlement program", at least as the first two are concerned.  I define being "entitled" as feeling that you deserve things that you really haven't earned; if you pay into a program your whole life, it's not an entitlement because you've earned it.  Anyway, I'm digressing again.  I just find it unsettling how neither group seems to think that our maintenance of "empire" is at least partly responsible for our spiraling levels of debt.  The blue-ribbon panel that consulted with Obama says we should hit the "entitlement programs", while the USJOC worries about the debt cutting into our defense spending, never factoring in that the defense spending (in other words, "empire") could have a big part to play in why we are so in hock in the first place. 

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